Politics

Report of Boris Johnson pouring drinks ‘implies he started lockdown party’ | Boris Johnson


Labour mentioned {that a} recent Partygate revelation on Sunday implied that Boris Johnson instigated one of many No 10 events that he has denied attending.

The deputy Labour chief, Angela Rayner, spoke out after the Sunday Times reported {that a} gathering that came about in Downing Street on Friday 13 November 2020 took on the character of a leaving get together solely after Johnson arrived and began pouring drinks.

She mentioned: “While the British public was making huge sacrifices, Boris Johnson was breaking the law.

“If the latest reports are true, it would mean that not only did the prime minister attend parties, but he had a hand in instigating at least one of them. He has deliberately misled the British people at every turn.

“The prime minister has demeaned his office. The British people deserve better. While Labour has a plan for tackling the cost of living crisis, Tory MPs are too busy defending the indefensible actions of Boris Johnson.”

The revelation will intensify calls for for a Commons debate this week about whether or not Johnson lied to parliament when he instructed MPs repeatedly that events didn’t happen at No 10 and that Covid guidelines had been adopted in any respect time.

The opposition events have been discussing how greatest they might power a vote on this, and one risk is tabling a movement saying Johnson has been in contempt of parliament.

Johnson has already mentioned that he intends to appropriate the report when MPs return to the Commons on Tuesday after their Easter break. It might be his first look within the chamber since accepting a wonderful for breaking lockdown guidelines at a gathering in June 2020 to mark his personal birthday, and he’s anticipated to difficulty a recent apology for what he claims was an inadvertent breach of the principles.

However, Johnson continues to insist that he by no means deliberately misled MPs in his many feedback on Partygate within the Commons chamber. The ministerial code says deliberately deceptive MPs – mendacity to them – is a resigning matter.

All the instances Boris Johnson denied and dismissed partygate claims – video

Johnson is dealing with three extra fines over Partygate, certainly one of which pertains to an occasion he attended to mark the departure of Lee Cain, his communications director, in November 2020.

According to the Sunday Times, this didn’t really feel like a leaving get together till Johnson himself turned up. “He said he wanted to say a few words for Lee and started pouring drinks for people and drinking himself,” a supply instructed the paper.

This account has been confirmed to the Guardian by a supply conversant in what occurred. Nobody had organised a leaving do prematurely – though it was regular on the time for workers within the press workplace to drink on Friday evenings – however apparently when Johnson inspired folks to affix in, employees felt obliged to.

The police are investigating this occasion and one other gathering on the identical day within the PM’s Downing Street flat, the place his spouse, Carrie Johnson, is alleged to have held a celebration to mark the departure of Cain and his ally Dominic Cummings, who had been Johnson’s chief adviser.

In December final 12 months, the Labour MP Catherine West requested Johnson instantly at PMQs if there was a celebration in Downing Street on 13 November. Johnson replied: “No, but I am sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times.”

On Sunday, the Green get together MP, Caroline Lucas, revealed that she had written to the Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, asking if he would enable Johnson, and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to be held to account by MPs for deceptive parliament. Sunak additionally acquired a fixed-penalty discover final week for attending the celebration for the PM – inadvertently, he claims – regardless of having instructed MPs he didn’t attend any events.

In her letter, Lucas mentioned: “It is … appropriate that MPs have a way of scrutinising what’s happened, and for [Johnson and Sunak] potentially to be found in contempt of parliament.”

Lucas added that the matter might be referred to the requirements committee or the privileges committee, or MPs may maintain a vote on a movement saying Johnson was in contempt of parliament. “The last would be quickest and therefore potentially most appropriate,” she mentioned.

The opposition events, who’ve been discussing ways earlier than a possible vote, settle for that Johnson would most likely win due to the dimensions of the Conservative majority. But they consider it could be embarrassing for Tory MPs to need to vote to exonerate him.

On Sunday, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit minister, instructed Radio 4’s The World This Weekend that he thought Johnson had spoken “in good faith” about Partygate.

Referring to the celebration penalty, Rees-Mogg mentioned: “Many people would think that they were in accordance with the rules, when they were meeting people they were with every day, who happened to wish them a happy birthday, because that was the day it was.

“I think that was a perfectly rational thing to believe. Now the police have decided otherwise and the police have an authority. But he wasn’t thinking something irrational or unreasonable, that that was within the rules.”



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