Boris Johnson Under Police Investigation Once Again for Additional Allegations of Lockdown Violations at Chequers
Following the revelation of visits to the luxurious Buckinghamshire residence of the former Prime Minister, the Cabinet Office has forwarded reports to the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police.
Former PM Hands Ministerial Diaries to Cabinet Office Ahead of Covid Inquiry, Prompting Further Scrutiny
Mr. Johnson has voluntarily handed over his ministerial diaries to Cabinet Office officials in anticipation of the formal Covid inquiry, scheduled to commence in October. This move comes as his spokesperson asserts that legal counsel has clarified the lawfulness of the events in question, emphasizing that they do not constitute breaches of any Covid regulations.
However, this development introduces a potential complication for the Privileges Committee, which had already been examining evidence provided by the ex-PM. The committee may now pause their ongoing inquiry to address these fresh allegations.
The consequences for BoJo are significant, as he risks suspension from the House of Commons or a by-election should the investigation determine that he intentionally misled Members of Parliament regarding his knowledge of lockdown gatherings at 10 Downing Street during the peak of the pandemic.
Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police have confirmed the initiation of an investigation, prompted by the receipt of a comprehensive dossier containing relevant information last week.
Boris Johnson’s Spokesman Accuses Government Insiders of Politically Motivated Stitch-Up
In response to the ongoing investigations and recent claims, a spokesperson for Boris Johnson vehemently defended the former PM’s actions. The spokesperson asserted that all the events in question were conducted in accordance with the rules, either by being held outdoors or falling under another lawful exception. They emphasized that these events primarily consisted of regular meetings with civil servants and advisers.
Furthermore, the spokesperson expressed concern that certain individuals within the government have made baseless allegations to both the police and the Privileges Committee. They suggested that this development appears to be yet another politically motivated attempt to prolong the Privileges Committee investigation just as it was nearing its conclusion, with the apparent intention of undermining Mr. Johnson.
The spokesperson concluded by stating that, regardless of the underlying political motives, it is evident that concerted efforts are being made to cast doubt on Mr. Johnson’s integrity.
Boris Johnson’s Legal Team Counters Cabinet Office Assertions
In response to the Cabinet Office’s claims, Mr. Johnson’s legal representatives have sent a detailed letter to the involved police forces, contesting the assertions made by the Cabinet Office.
Earlier in March, the Prime Minister adamantly maintained his innocence, vowing that he had not lied to Members of Parliament regarding the existence of illegal parties. He expressed frustration and incredulity at being fined, stating that he was “boggled” by the situation.
In an attempt to convince the committee, consisting of seven members and comprising MPs and journalists, Johnson candidly asserted that he had not intentionally misled the House of Commons when he repeatedly stated that all rules had been followed within Downing Street. Acknowledging that there were occasions over a span of 20 months when gatherings were held at Downing Street that could not be justified as work-related, he admitted his wrongdoing, expressing deep regret for those instances.