Boris Johnson's Partygate Legal Bill Could Have Paid For 100,000 Free School Meals

The former prime minister is facing calls to cover the legal fees himself after the cost increased for a second time.
Former prime minister Boris Johnson.
Former prime minister Boris Johnson.
Carl Court via Getty Images

Boris Johnson’s taxpayer-funded legal costs for the partygate inquiry could have paid for almost 100,000 free school meals, MPs have said.

The bill for the former prime minister’s lawyers has soared to £245,000 as he is investigated by MPs over whether he misled parliament.

He has faced calls to cover the legal fees himself as the cost increased for a second time.

Johnson took his legal team to a four hour-long televised meeting of the Commons Privileges Committee in March when he swore “hand on heart” that he did not lie to the House of Commons.

If the committee decides Johnson did mislead MPs - and the Commons backs suspending him for 10 days or more - he could face a by-election in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.

However, there is a long process to get through before the saga potentially reaches that stage.

In the meantime, the Lib Dems are calling for him to stump up the cash for his own legal fees.

Christine Jardine, the Lib Dem’s cabinet office spokesperson, has written to Rishi Sunak, urging him to make Boris Johnson pay his own legal fees.

The party’s analysis reveals his current legal fund is the equivalent cost of 96,979 free school meals.

The latest register of interests for MPs shows Johnson earned more than £5.5 million since standing down as prime minister last year.

Jardine said: “It’s frankly unbelievable that hardworking taxpayers are being left to foot the bill for Boris Johnson’s shameful antics.

“Children are being left to go hungry in school while the Conservative government forks out almost £250k on legal fees for Boris Johnson.

“Rishi Sunak promised to govern with integrity - if he has a shred of it left, he’ll do the decent thing and force Johnson to pay the bill himself. It cannot be one rule for Conservative MPs and another for everyone else.”


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