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Boris Johnson referred to police again over new claims he broke lockdown rules

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Boris Johnson referred to police again over new claims he broke lockdown rules

Boris Johnson has been referred to police over recent allegations of breaking Covid lockdown guidelines, in a transfer branded a political “smear” by his allies.

The Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police confirmed on Tuesday that they had been taking a look at gatherings Mr Johnson attended – together with receiving guests – in Downing Avenue and Chequers whereas prime minister.

It was prompted by the Cupboard Workplace handing over diary entries that had been uncovered by legal professionals engaged on Mr Johnson’s formal submission to the Covid Inquiry.

Cupboard Workplace sources stated that officers had been obliged by the civil service code to provide the knowledge to the police as they had been involved the entries detailed potential breaches of Covid rules.

‘Political stitch-up’

Nonetheless, a spokesman for Mr Johnson stated the allegations had been “completely unfaithful” and steered that the claims had been made for a “political goal”.

The event triggered a fierce response as pals of the previous prime minister claimed he was being focused by a “political stitch-up” and a “smear”.

An ally of Mr Johnson stated: “That is ridiculous and it’s a wilful try to misinterpret diary entries as a way to make one thing out of nothing.”

Supporters of the previous prime minister famous that Oliver Dowden, essentially the most senior minister within the Cupboard Workplace, is one among Rishi Sunak’s closest friends in politics.

However Cupboard Workplace sources stated that no minister was concerned within the determination, dismissing any accusation of politicking and saying officers had been responsibility certain to behave.

It comes because the Authorities braces for affirmation that net migration has hit a record high, with projections that the whole will likely be between 700,000 and a million.

The previous prime minister’s fall from energy final yr adopted the “partygate” scandal, during which Covid fines had been issued over eight occasions in authorities buildings. Mr Johnson acquired one high quality.

A linked investigation by the Commons privileges committee into whether or not Mr Johnson misled MPs over the occasions continues to overshadow his hopes of a political comeback, with a report anticipated subsequent month. The committee is known to have been knowledgeable of the police referral.

New Chequers and Downing Avenue occasions

Little is thought concerning the gatherings on the coronary heart of the newest growth. One supply aware of them stated there have been a “handful” of occasions. One other stated “greater than ten”.
The police confirmed they occurred between June 2020 and Might 2021, a interval during which the nation moved out and in of lockdown.

The Telegraph has been informed that one occasion being checked out was a lunch within the Quantity 10 backyard attended by Mr Johnson and his mom Charlotte, who died in September 2021.

One other, which Whitehall sources vehemently denied was a breach of the principles and stated was organized by Downing Avenue, is alleged to have concerned Mr Johnson assembly the tv presenter Kate Garraway to debate her husband, who was left in a life-threatening situation after being recognized with Covid in March 2020. Full particulars of the occasions aren’t but public.

Sunak vs Johnson

Enmity has been rising between supporters of Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak concerning the Tory insurrection final yr that led to the previous politician’s ousting from Downing Avenue.

Mr Johnson resigned from workplace lower than 48 hours after Mr Sunak and Sajid Javid, the well being secretary on the time, stop his Cupboard. Johnson allies proceed to place some blame on Mr Sunak for his demise, a declare waved away by the Prime Minister’s supporters. 

Final autumn, Mr Johnson tried to turn out to be prime minister once more when Liz Truss resigned, however dropped out after a number of MPs endorsed Mr Sunak.

A Cupboard Workplace spokesman stated: “Data got here to mild through the means of making ready proof for submission to the Covid Inquiry.

“According to obligations within the civil service code, this materials has been handed to the related authorities and it’s now a matter for them.”

The civil service code states: “According to the core worth of integrity, civil servants should adjust to the regulation and uphold the administration of justice.”

‘Weird and unacceptable allegations’

A spokesman for Mr Johnson stated: “Some abbreviated entries in Mr Johnson’s official diary had been queried by the Cupboard Workplace throughout preparation for the Covid Inquiry.

“Following an examination of the entries, Mr Johnson’s legal professionals wrote to the Cupboard Workplace and privileges committee explaining that the occasions had been lawful and weren’t breaches of any Covid rules.”

The spokesman added: “The assertion by the Cupboard Workplace that there have been additional Covid rule breaches is completely unfaithful. 

“No contact was made with Mr Johnson earlier than these incorrect allegations had been made each to the police and to the privileges committee. That is each weird and unacceptable.

“For no matter political goal, it’s plain {that a} final ditch try is being made to elongate the privileges committee investigation because it was coming to a conclusion and to undermine Mr Johnson.

“Mr Johnson’s legal professionals have tonight written to the police forces concerned to clarify intimately why the Cupboard Workplace is completely mistaken in its assertions.

“The occasions in query had been all throughout the guidelines both as a result of they had been held outside or got here inside one other lawful exception. They embody common conferences with civil servants and advisers.

“Many will conclude that this has all of the hallmarks of one more politically motivated sew up.”

The Metropolitan Police stated they had been assessing the entries that “relate to potential breaches of the Well being Safety Rules between June 2020 and Might 2021 at Downing Avenue”.

A Thames Valley police spokesman stated they had been assessing “a report of potential breaches of the Well being Safety Rules between June 2020 and Might 2021 at Chequers, Buckinghamshire”.

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