The former culture secretary, who announced her plan to step down as an MP once Johnson decided to quit parliament back in June, is a dedicated supporter of the ex-PM.
Hours before Johnson gave evidence to the public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, Dorries suggested this was a great opportunity for the former PM “to put his side of the story forward”.
She also told TalkTV the focus on partygate – the series of lockdown-breaking gatherings held behind Downing Street doors at the height of the pandemic – “frustrates” her.
Dorries claimed much of the parties in question happened on Friday night in the press office – while Johnson “left 10 Downing Street on a Thursday night and knew nothing about them”.
“Boris Johnson never attended a single party,” she alleged, saying the evidence of him attending some parties (for which he was later fined) were for small shows of thanks, rather than for “serious parties”.
She also claimed the WhatsApp messages which have been a key part of the inquiry are “isolated messages” and “taken out of context”.
“As far as he’s concerned, it’s the bigger issues which are more important,” Dorries said.
Touching on the controversy around whether or not the UK locked down early enough, She said: “Boris Johnson was under extreme pressure.
“I think he was the only person asking, ’how do we not lock down? How do we keep businesses going, how do we keep schools open?′
“When the information he was permanently being given was ’you have to lock down, this is what you have to do’.”
She said she believed he was a “lone voice” at times, while the scientific and medical advisers were all calling on him to lock down.
The UK government has since been criticised multiple times for not locking down soon enough back in March 2020, including by then health secretary Matt Hancock.
Dorries claimed Johnson’s “silver bullet” to push through the pandemic was the vaccine – and she alleged he “personally drove that through”.
The Johnson ally also said those who criticised Johnson through their evidence to the pandemic were just looking to “further their own careers”.
Here’s the full exchange here:
Shortly after the interview went live, social media was quick to point out that her defence of Johnson might not actually work in his favour....