The Government has backtracked on its decision to try and delay a vote on if an inquiry was needed to see if Boris Johnson misled Parliament over the partygate scandal.

An amendment was tabled to defer the vote on the Commons inquiry until the Metropolitan Police’s own probe into lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street and Whitehall has concluded, and the Sue Gray report has been published.

It was understood before the vote took place that all Tory MPs were being whipped to support the amendment.

However, this has all been withdrawn now, with Conservative MPs getting a free vote in the situation now that the ammendment has been dropped.

County Times: Boris Johnson may now face a parliamentary inquiry (PA)Boris Johnson may now face a parliamentary inquiry (PA)

A senior Government source said Boris Johnson was “happy to face” a parliamentary inquiry after all.

The source said: “The Prime Minister has always been clear that he’s happy to face whatever inquiries Parliament sees fit and is happy for the House to decide how it wishes to proceed today and therefore will not be whipping Conservative MPs.

“They are free to vote according to how they believe we should move forward on this.

“We tabled an amendment last night because we wanted to be explicit about ensuring Sue Gray is able to complete and publish her report without any further delay, as well as allow the Metropolitan Police to conclude their investigations.

“We now recognise that – in practice – this is almost certainly likely to be the case and therefore we are happy for the Labour motion to go through, if that is the will of the House.”

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “This is humiliating for Conservative MPs who were being pressured to vote for the Government’s cover-up amendment.

“The Government knew they couldn’t win this, the Prime Minister is bang to rights.

“Tory MPs should do the right thing, respect the sacrifices that their constituents made during the pandemic, and vote in the national interest.”