Conservative MPs are set to get a free vote on any sanctions handed out to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson related to Partygate, according to reports.

This is if Mr Johnson is found to have misled Parliament over Partygate during his tenure.

He will face a televised evidence session in front of the Commons Privileges Committee on Wednesday (March 22) as part of this.

BBC News reports that the committee is yet to publish its final verdict - but its initial update earlier this month said Mr Johnson may have misled Parliament multiple times.

Bicester Advertiser: Boris Johnson has denied misleading MPs over PartygateBoris Johnson has denied misleading MPs over Partygate (Image: PA)

What will evidence session decide?

Wednesday's session could last up to five hours, BBC News reports, and it will be a key chance for Mr Johnson to persuade the seven cross-party MPs who make up the committee that he did not mislead MPs in December 2021.

This includes when he told the Commons that he had "been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken".

Back in May 2022 an inquiry led by civil servant Sue Gray concluded that widespread rule-breaking had taken place, and Mr Johnson was among 83 people fined by police for attending law-breaking events.

Mr Johnson could face punishments if he is found to have misled MPs, including being suspended from the Commons or facing a recall petition which could trigger a by-election in his seat.

However, MPs would have to approve any sanction on Mr Johnson.

BBC News says: "Downing Street sources say it is a matter for the House of Commons and MPs will therefore be given a free vote - meaning they will not be "whipped" to vote a certain way.

"That means Tory MPs would not be asked to vote one way or another, as they were over the proposed suspension of Owen Paterson in November 2021, when Mr Johnson was still prime minister."

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: "The Privileges Committee will vindicate Boris Johnson's position.

"The evidence will show that Boris Johnson did not knowingly mislead parliament."