Boris Johnson belongs to a political class who are the 'ultimate poker players' when it comes to masking the truth, according to experts.
The prime minister and other MPs are experienced hands at suppressing 'inner guilt' and its outward 'leakage' as they play a high-stakes game.
Mr Johnson is embroiled in partygate, which has led to an accusation that he lied to parliament from his former chief strategist, Dominic Cummings .
The ex-aide has gone as far as saying he would testify under oath that the Tory leader knew a party breaching lockdown rules would take place.
This has been denied by Mr Johnson and Number 10.
Mr Johnson's demeanour during an interview by Sky this week, when he lowered his head and appeared lost for words, led some to say he had the look of a 'broken man' and raised new doubts over his leadership.
But he was back near his usual blustery self at Prime Minister's Questions, which was followed by loyal MPs speaking out in his defence.
Jason Hubble, director of the UK Polygraph Association, told Metro.co.uk that politicians are seasoned experts at suppressing body language, although Mr Johnson's wife, Carrie, might be able to read his signs.
'Politicians are the ultimate poker players,' Mr Hubble said. 'The older we get, the better we get at masking signs when we are nervous, and politicians are the absolute experts at this and at deflecting questions as well.
'They have to be. Carrie Johnson is probably the best person to tell if Boris is telling the truth or not as she would be close enough to pick up on the signs that only someone close to him would recognise.'
Mr Hubble, who owns Lie Detectors UK and has been a qualified polygraph examiner for nine years, described the huge internal effort that goes into suppressing lies.
'When we lie, it's ridiculously tough, our bodies go through a massive workout,' he said.
'When I was 16 my father found a pack of cigarettes in my room. I went through huge levels of stress inside my body.
'He went through my pockets and found some matches, at which point I owned up and I felt a massive release as I told the truth.
'When we admit to something, it's a really nice feeling.
'It's far easier to tell the truth and the bigger the lie the more our bodies involuntarily react and the more we have to control ourselves so that people can't see through the act.'
At parliament, Mr Johnson has cut a more sober tone this week, losing the smiles which led to criticism after he was confronted with questions about partygate on previous occasions.
'In terms of the little tell-tale signs the body exhibits, you would look at optical signs in the eyes, the right hemisphere of the brain to make things up and the left for memories,' Mr Hubble said.
'You can look at what direction someone is looking. You can look at skin tone to see if someone is flushed, the breathing or if they are looking directly at someone or looking down. But again, politicians are the ultimate experts at masking these signs. However, when Carrie is along with Boris, that is when he would be easier to read.'
Mr Hubble has put sports stars and cheating partners through tests but has long wanted to examine a politician and is offering his services free of charge to Mr Johnson and Mr Cummings.
'I would look to prove Boris's innocence and ask him if it was a work event and if he knew it was pre-planned,' he said.
'In a polygraph test, politicians wouldn't be able to mask what is taking place inside the body.
'Boris or Cummings would be nervous but it wouldn't affect the test, if nerves made a difference, everyone would fail, and accuracy tests show that doesn't happen.'
Mr Johnson has appeared contrite over partygate, apologising in parliament for attending the bring-your-own-booze party which he said he thought had been a 'work event'.
Cummings then claimed that the prime minister was warned about the event, held at a time when the country was still in lockdown, and had allowed it to go ahead. Number 10 denied the accusation and Mr Johnson reasserted his position that 'nobody told me this was against the rules'.
Body language expert Judi James, who has examined Mr Johnson's performance at Prime Minister's Questions, told Metro.co.uk that the body's responses can be more easily suppressed if a person has a lack of guilt or believes they are being dishonest for a greater good.
'Good liars tend to be people who have to lie a lot and this can even include doctors or lawyers who might need to reassure patients or present evidence in court,' she said.
'Not all politicians lie but the spin factor is pretty ingrained. It helps if it is part of the culture as it can make the behaviour feel like a norm.
'There are many politicians that care deeply but some career politicians can be Machiavellian or narcissistic and this might mean lower levels of guilt if they do lie.
'Inner guilt is a killer when it comes to performing a convincing lie as it leads to "leakage" like sweating, accelerated blinking, shallow breathing or fiddling and twitching.
'If you think the end justifies the means though you can be a better liar.'
Lies or deflection can also be self-justified in pressurised situations, such as media appearances, according to the author.
'Lies told under "attack" can make it feel like a necessary factor for survival,' she said. 'If you've got a rabid radio presenter yelling at you to get the facts, that touch of creative word salad might be seen as both fair and necessary.'
However, Ms James, author of Poker Face, does attach significance in the physical 'tells' given away by political operators – and suggests a new approach to catch giveaways.
'They can get pressured to declare loyalty to a leader they dislike or distrust,' she said. 'That loyalty will be expected to be signalled verbally and non-verbally to create an impression of unity in public.
'Fortunately, very few politicians are great body language liars despite all this, though. Many are still more transparent than they would like to be, which is why they often prefer radio or written interviews.
'They even have an advantage here, though.
'Modern interviewing techniques tend to entail talking over the interviewee and even shouting at them. The best way to spot dishonesty would be to ask a question and give them plenty of time to dangle gently as it's here and with more time to perform that we get a better chance to spot the honest ones from the "pants on fire" moments.'
An investigation into the reported parties across Whitehall and Downing Street is being undertaken by senior civil servant Sue Gray, who is expected to publish her findings next week.
With Newsnight correspondent Nicholas Watt suggesting this will take place on Wednesday, on the day of the next Prime Minister's Questions, the experts should have plenty to analyse.
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