Minister Jumps To Defend Boris Johnson Over Partygate And Claims PM 'Doesn't Lie'

"The prime minister is a good man, a good leader."
Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the treasury, defended the prime minister over Partygate
Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the treasury, defended the prime minister over Partygate
Sky News

The chief secretary to the treasury said he has “complete” belief in Boris Johnson and does not believe he lies, despite the recent accusations against the prime minister.

Simon Clarke was responding to the widespread outrage towards Johnson over the parties which allegedly took place in Downing Street throughout various lockdowns, also known as partygate.

Johnson has been publicly questioned over these gatherings on multiple occasions but has repeatedly denied any Covid rules were breached.

There are now two separate investigations looking into the parties – an internal inquiry, led by civil servant Sue Gray, and a police probe.

But, pressed by Sky News’ Kay Burley over the ongoing scandal, Clarke was keen to defend Johnson.

He said: “Look, the prime minister is a good man, a good leader.”

Burley replied: “He lies.”

Clarke immediately said, “no”, while the Sky News presenter to pointed out: “He’s been sacked twice for lying.

“Once from a national newspaper and once from Michael Howard.”

Johnson was sacked from the shadow cabinet by former Tory leader Michael Howard in 2004 for lying about an affair with a colleague, and reportedly fired from The Times in 1988 for fabricating a quote in an article.

Clarke appeared to dismiss this point.

He then replied: “I think it is absolutely vital that we don’t pre-judge what Sue Gray is going to say, or what the police are investigate.”

Gray’s report, ordered by the prime minister, has been subject to great controversy as its publication has been repeatedly delayed.

It’s believed that Gray passed evidence of criminal activity to the Metropolitan Police during the course of her own investigation, prompting the police to launch its own probe after repeatedly refusing to do so.

Burley said: “My point is, you said he doesn’t lie – I’ve just illustrated twice [that he does].”

Clarke simply said, “I have total confidence in the prime minister” and “I don’t think he does lie.”

Burley said, “OK, why do you think he was sacked for lying?”

“I don’t know the circumstances of the prime minister’s previous employment,” Clarke explained.

“Look, the decision about who was on the shadow front bench 15 years ago, those circumstances which surrounded any of those decisions...”

Burley added: “So if they were lies 15 years ago they don’t count then?”

“We’ve got to wait for the Sue Gray report,” Clarke replied.

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