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Boris Johnson’s taxpayer-funded Partygate defense bill stands at 245,000

Boris Johnson’s taxpayer-funded Partygate defense bill stands at 245,000


Boris Johnson’s legal defense costs for the Partygate inquiry, covered by the taxpayer, have skyrocketed again as the government again extended the contract.

The former PM’s legal bill has risen from 222,000 to 245,000 after the deal with a team led by top barrister Lord Pannick KC was extended for a second time.

Labor said Rishi Sunak must explain why he failed to stop the brazen scheme, as opposition parties argue Mr Johnson should foot the bill himself.

Mr Johnson, who has earned more than £5million since leaving office, is being investigated by MPs over whether he misled Parliament about what he knew parties breaking the rules at No. 10.

Law firm Peters and Peters was initially awarded a contract worth £129,700 in August to advise Mr Johnson during the lien committees investigation.

No 10 and the Cabinet Office have claimed there is precedent for ex-ministers getting taxpayer-covered legal aid for anything relating to their duties while in government.

The government highlighted the legal advice given to former ministers during public inquiries into the Grenfell disaster and the BSE outbreak.

But these cases were statutory public inquiries rather than parliamentary inquiries launched by MPs.

More recently, then-deputy Dominic Raab covered his own legal costs for the independent investigation into the bullying allegations which saw him step down last month.

As working families face a cost of living crisis, it’s hard to believe they should have written a blank check for those legal terms as the ex-PM gets richer, said said Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson awaits verdict in Partygate inquiry

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Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson awaits verdict in Partygate inquiry

((Kirsty O’Connor/PA))

Ms Rayner added: Rishi Sunak must explain why he has failed to stop this brazen scheme and take immediate action to ensure his disgraced predecessor returns the money to the public treasury.

The Liberal Democrats have urged the Prime Minister to ask his ethics adviser to investigate Mr Johnson’s legal bill and how this precedent was set.

Wendy Chamberlain, Lib Dem’s chief whip, said: Boris Johnson must pay back every penny to the public treasury immediately.

Mr Johnson is awaiting the outcome of the Partygate inquiry and could still face a by-election if he is suspended from the Commons for at least 10 days.

He faced a torrid time during the March showdown before the cross-party committee of MPs over whether he had lied about parties breaking the rules during the Covid crisis.

Struggling to salvage his career, the former prime minister accused the cross-party group of absurd, illogical and partisan claims.

Mr Johnson admitted he had misled Parliament about the breach of the rules, but insisted his denials had been made in good faith on the basis of what he honestly knew at the time era.

The contract with Peters and Peters paid off for the advice of prominent barrister Lord Pannick, who claimed the privileges committee was taking unfair procedure and a fundamentally wrong approach.




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