Tory Peer Slams Boris Johnson Over Partygate 'Stitch-Up' Claims

The former prime minister could sue the Cabinet Office after he was referred to the police over alleged lockdown breaches.
Boris Johnson has been referred to the police by the Cabinet Office.
Boris Johnson has been referred to the police by the Cabinet Office.
Victoria Jones via PA Wire/PA Images

A Tory peer has hit out at Boris Johnson after he accused the government of a “politically motivated stitch-up” over a fresh partygate row.

Cabinet Office officials referred the former prime minister to the police after “information came to light” as they made preparations for the public inquiry into the Covid-19 outbreak.

It relates to entries in the former prime minister’s official diary about visits to 10 Downing Street and Chequers by his friends and family during lockdown.

In a statement last night, Johnson’s office said: “The events in question were all within the rules either because they were held outdoors or came within another lawful exception. They include regular meetings with civil servants and advisers.

“It appears some within government have decided to make unfounded suggestions both to the police and to the privileges committee.

“Many will conclude that this has all the hallmarks of yet another politically motivated stitch up.”

HuffPost UK also understands that Johnson could sue the Cabinet Office for suggesting that he broke lockdown rules.

But appearing on Sky News this morning, Conservative peer Lord Hayward backed the government.

He said: “I think it’s right that if people - whoever they may be - have discovered further entries in diaries or whatever they have to be looked at, otherwise there’s an accusation of cover-up in some form or another.

“And to be honest I think Boris Johnson’s aides are ill-advised to say it’s a stitch up and all the rest of it.”

He added: “It’s come out because somebody has been looking at diaries in terms of the Covid inquiry.

“So I think it’s unlikely to be a stitch up - it’s just a series of events that have to be looked at.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “Information came to light during the process of preparing evidence for submission to the Covid Inquiry.

“It was identified as part of the normal disclosure review of potentially relevant documents being undertaken by the legal team for inquiry witnesses.

“In line with obligations in the Civil Service Code, this material has been passed to the relevant authorities and it is now a matter for them.”

Both the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police confirmed they had received documents about “potential breaches of the Health Protection Regulations between June 2020 and May 2021”.


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