Boris Johnson in eleventh-hour talks to throw out sleaze probe against senior Tory MP Owen Paterson
BORIS Johnson is in eleventh-hour talks to throw out a sleaze probe against a senior Tory MP to avoid a rebellion in Parliament today.
The PM is under massive pressure to save the political career of grandee Owen Paterson after standards tsar Kathryn Stone found he inappropriately lobbied for two firms.
Mr Paterson has said the probe against him was woefully unfair and drove his wife Rose to suicide.
The tense stand-off will come to a head today as MPs are set to vote on the findings of the watchdog’s report.
If it goes through he would be booted out of Parliament for 30 days and could face a by-election battle to keep his seat.
The Sun understands that several Cabinet ministers are furious at the way Mr Paterson has been treated and are urging Boris to intervene.
Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg broke cover yesterday to pointedly say that “many people” had raised “questions about the process” in the sleaze probe.
Cabinet ministers are said to be “cooking up a plan” to save the well liked MP from having to face a recall petition.
And allies have said that Mr Paterson wants his colleagues to back him completely by voting down the report in its entirety rather than watering down its findings.
One Cabinet minister told The Sun: "There is a plan which we are working on that will save Owen.
"Talks are ongoing with the chief – there are people out there who are saying the whole system is broken and therefore we should ‘park’ it."
And another MP added: "There is a mood to vote against it but we don’t know what the payroll will do. If they abstain then Labour will get their win."
Taking aim at the Standards Commissioner, another Cabinet minister fumed: “She has lost the confidence of MPs. Many think it is utterly unfair.
“And then the question becomes – do MPs comply and work with her in the future? If they think she isn’t interested in hearing their side.”
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the speaker of the House is understood to have warned privately that MPs risk bringing the House of Commons into disrepute if they overturn the suspension.
Source: Read Full Article