Boris Johnson erupts at 'complete nonsense' in Partygate grilling
The former PM has been referred to the police over new claims he had friends visit him at Chequers during lockdown, however the force is not investigating the information.
The Cabinet Office has passed on claims to police that Boris Johnson broke Covid lockdown rules whilst at his grace-and-favour mansion Chequers.
The claims arose from diary entries in Mr Johnson’s official diary, which are being combed through ahead of the official Covid Inquiry.
The Times first broke the news, having been told by two Government sources that Mr Johnson gave lawyers access to his diary to assist in his defence.
However while conducting a “disclosure review”, the lawyers reportedly became concerned about details of visitors to Chequers during periods of restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
POLL: Should Boris Johnson pay his own Partygate legal fees?
They decided they were duty-bound to raise the potential breaches of rules and escalated the matter to the Cabinet Office.
The top Government department then felt obliged, under Civil Servant rules, to refer the matter to the police and Harriet Harman’s Privileges Committee.
The police confirmed it had received information, though emphasised it is currently assessing it and has not opened an investigation.
Mr Johnson’s lawyers advised him that all of the events in question were lawful and in no way broke any restrictions.
The news once again sparked allegations of politically-motivated civil servants, with Mr Johnson’s office having received no notice of the police report from the Cabinet Office before the story broke in the Times.
Mr Johnson’s spokesperson said: “Some abbreviated entries in Mr Johnson’s official diary were queried by Cabinet Office during preparation for the Covid Inquiry.
“Following an examination of the entries, Mr Johnson’s lawyers wrote to the Cabinet Office and Privileges Committee explaining that the events were lawful and were not breaches of any Covid regulations.”
Braverman case has fuelled suspicions of a Whitehall plot to take out Brexiteers[LATEST]
Boris Johnson described himself as ‘führer and king’ to aides, new book claims[LATEST]
Carrie Johnson is pregnant again and says her son Wilf is ‘very excited'[LATEST]
Boris Johnson ally, Tory MP Mark Jenkinson, accused the move by the Cabinet Office of being another example of “civil service meddling.”
“This week we’ve seen a dramatic rise in reporting of civil service political meddling. Unfortunately we have fed the mogwai after midnight with the scalps they’ve taken previously, and they won’t rest.
“Thanks to Sue Gray, we’ve seen that sunlight will see off gremlins, and highlighting this continued politically-motivated civil service meddling as they have will hopefully be the turning point that sees senior civil servants once again serving the government of the day impartially.”
Thames Valley Police confirmed the investigation, as a spokesperson said: “On Thursday, we received a report of potential breaches of the Health Protection Regulations between June 2020 and May 2021 at Chequers, Buckinghamshire. We are currently assessing this information”.
Mr and Mrs Johnson spent time at Chequers throughout Covid, especially when the Prime Minister went there to recover after his brush with death thanks to the virus during the first lockdown.
The Prime Minister spent a fortnight recovering at Chequers in April 2020, with Dominic Raab deputising for him.
At the time, No. 10 said: “Chequers is considered to be a suitable place for the PM to continue his recovery”.
Mr Johnson did not visit Chequers during the second lockdown.
Source: Read Full Article