Conservative MPs in Oxfordshire have revealed why they did not have a say on a crucial vote as Boris Johnson was found guilty of misleading parliament.

On Monday, MPs in parliament voted to approve the privileges committee’s report into former prime minister Boris Johnson and his statements to the House on Partygate.

The report concluded Mr Johnson deliberately misled parliament, was guilty of “impugning” the committee and engaged in a “campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the committee.

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Mr Johnson strongly rejected the findings of the committee and chose to characterise the committee as a “kangaroo court” which was guilty of “egregious bias”.

However, a large number of Tory MPs decided to miss Monday’s vote on the report, with the House of Commons recorders marking “no vote recorded” for 225 members.

Three of these MPs included Witney MP Robert Courts, Henley MP John Howell and Wantage MP David Johnston.

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis was the exception as she decided to endorse the committee’s findings.

Mr Courts has told the Oxford Mail he was unable to vote because he was busy attending a “long planned and extremely important visit to the Royal Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth” where he was looking at the Royal Navy’s operations, readiness, equipment and procurement.

He said: “The visit meant I was away from the House of Commons for the privileges committee debate.

“However, the will of the house was clear, and no vote should have been needed.

“I understand that the only reason there was one was because the Labour chief whip shouted out against the findings in the report - and in favour of Boris - knowing this would trigger a division.

“This was once again a desperate attempt by the Labour Party to play politics: the vote would otherwise have gone through unopposed on the voices.”

Mr Courts said it was now time to “move on” and focus on “delivering on the people’s priorities”.

Charlie Maynard, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Witney, told the Oxford Mail: “Tory MPs are so spineless.

“MPs are elected to represent us, not to run away from doing their duty.

“This failure starts with Sunak and goes all the way down to Oxfordshire MPs like Robert Courts, David Johnston and John Howell.”

Wantage MP David Johnston said: “I resigned from my PPS position at the Department for Education last year due to the conduct of Boris Johnson, so my view on his behaviour is clear.

“I entirely support the work and findings of the Privileges Committee, but Boris Johnson is no longer an MP.

Oxford Mail: Wantage MP David JohnstonWantage MP David Johnston

“If he was still an MP, I would have voted to endorse the report yesterday, although I will point out there should not even have been a vote.

“Instead, it was expected to be approved ‘on the nod’ when a voice vote was called and the only reason there was one was because Labour arranged for some of their MPs to shout ‘no’ out of sight, thereby pretending to oppose the report, in order to force a vote.

“Each of us is entitled to our own opinion on this but I considered the question of parliamentary sanctions for Boris Johnson closed when he ceased to be a Member of Parliament.”

MP John Howell told the Oxford Mail he was unable to make the vote as his duties as leader of the UK Delegation to the Council of Europe meant he was stuck in mainland Europe.

He said: “I am in mainland Europe where I have been for a week.

"It has been in my diary for more than a year.

“I was not therefore in the UK for the vote.

“If I had been, I had already made it clear that I would support the committee.”

Boris Johnson's office has been approached for comment.