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Boris Johnson fired police over potential new Covid breaches

Boris Johnson fired police over potential new Covid breaches


Boris Johnson has been referred to the police by the Cabinet Office over potential further breaches of coronavirus regulations during his time as UK Prime Minister.

Officials last week passed information to the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police which had been uncovered by lawyers working for the Government on evidence to be submitted to the public inquiry into Covid-19.

The information involves entries from Johnson’s official diary showing visits to Downing Street and Checkers, the country residence used by the British Prime Minister, by friends and family during the pandemic, The Times newspaper reported Tuesday.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: Information has come to light during the process of preparing evidence for the Covid inquiry. He was identified as part of the normal disclosure review of potentially relevant documents undertaken by the legal team for witnesses in the investigation.

In accordance with the obligations of the civil service code, this material has been transmitted to the competent authorities and it now belongs to them.

A government official said the decision to return documents to the police was taken without the ministry’s involvement and Number 10 was not notified until after the move.

A spokesman for the former prime minister said: Some abbreviated entries from Mr Johnson’s official diary were queried by [the] Cabinet Office in preparation for the Covid survey.

After a review of the entries, lawyers for Mr Johnsons wrote to the Cabinet Office and the Privileges Committee explaining that the events were legal and did not constitute any breach of Covid regulations.

The House of Commons Privileges Committee is investigating whether Johnson deliberately misled MPs about Downing Street parties held during coronavirus restrictions.

An ally of Johnson said the Cabinet Office referral was clearly politically motivated and officials gave him no notice so he could respond before the information was passed on to police.

The ally added that Johnson had been advised by lawyers that all of these events were legal and in no way violated restrictions and that he had not been contacted by police.

Johnson’s final year as Prime Minister was largely defined by revelations about parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall during Covid restrictions. Following a Met investigation which concluded in May 2022, 83 people were issued with 126 fines.

Johnson became the first prime minister to commit a criminal offense while in office after attending a birthday party in Downing Street in June 2020 which broke coronavirus rules.

In April 2022, Johnson, his wife Carrie and then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak paid fines for attending the party.

The Met said in a statement on Tuesday that it was currently assessing information it received from the Cabinet Office on May 19 regarding potential breaches of health protection regulations between June 2020 and May 2021 at Downing Street.

Thames Valley Police said: On Thursday we received a report of potential breaches of health protection regulations between June 2020 and May 2021 in Chequers, Buckinghamshire. We are currently evaluating this information.

The Liberal Democrats on Tuesday called on Johnson to step down as Conservative MP for Uxbridge.

That this is one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us still triggers a raw sense of injustice in millions, said the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, DaisyCooper. Johnson should finally do a decent thing and consider his position as an MP.




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