POLL: Should Boris Johnson pay back his Partygate legal fees?

Question Time: No one in audience believes Boris over partygate

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Partygate defence cost the taxpayer more than £265,000 in legal fees, according to new figures.

Cabinet Office figures published last week show that the total cost of Mr Johnson’s legal representation during the Privileges Committee Parytgate probe came to £265,522.

Law firm Peters & Peters was given a contract worth £129,700 in August 2022 to provide legal advice to Mr Johnson, but the Cabinet Office estimates later showed that the total would rise to at least £222,000.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner slammed Mr Johnson for using taxpayer funds. She said: “At the height of a cost of living crisis, Rishi Sunak has stood by and watched as the disgraced former Prime Minister milks the taxpayer to the tune of a quarter of a million pounds to prop up his Partygate denials.

“This is a spineless Prime Minister, too weak to put a stop to this unprecedented and unacceptable waste of taxpayers’ money or force his predecessor to hand back taxpayers’ money.”

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The Privileges Committee inquiry found that Mr Johnson had lied to Parliament about breaching lockdown rules. Had Mr Johnson not resigned the contempt would have led to a 90-day suspension.

A Government spokesman said: “There is an established precedent across multiple administrations based on the principle that former ministers may be supported with legal representation after they have left office when matters relate to their time and conduct as a minister.”

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They continued: “The contract for the provision of legal support to the now former prime minister has been extended for a final time in accordance with the proper procurement processes.

“This is to cover previous additional work in relation to the Privileges Committee inquiry. The contract expires today and the final costs of the total legal support will not exceed this amount.”

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