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Who was at the Boris Johnsons Checkers party? Boris’ camp panics over new Partygate demands

Who was at the Boris Johnsons Checkers party?  Boris’ camp panics over new Partygate demands


Boris Johnson’s camp is in panic mode over new allegations of possible rule breaches at Checkers during Covid, prompting the sacking of lawyers for former prime ministers and a public castigation of Rishi Sunaks’ government.

The latest fury centers on claims that up to a dozen gatherings at Checkers and No 10 took place during the lockdown after new details were passed on to police by the Cabinet Office.

In scene-worthy intrigue, the rallies were highlighted by Mr Johnson’s own government-appointed lawyers scouring the diaries of former prime ministers ahead of the upcoming Covid inquiry. New claims are currently being assessed by Scotland Yard and Thames Valley Police.

Mr Johnson, who sacked his legal team there, is said to be both furious and desperate to have been dragged into further questions about Partygate and does not believe he has done anything wrong, according to a source. Another friend said the former prime minister was angry and worried the Cabinet Office was handing over evidence to the police.

The row sparked a guessing game in Westminster over who might have visited Mr Johnson at the Buckinghamshire Mansion of Grace and Favor between June 2020 and May 2021, with the dates being scrutinized by police.

It also raises new scrutiny of relatives of Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie who may have been guests at the home near Aylesbury during the time in question.

Logs passed to Cabinet Office officials reveal visits from family and friends to Checkers during the pandemic, according to The temperature,who first reported the story.

Former PM sister Rachel Johnson suggested she visited during the Covid pandemic, telling LBC this week that to my knowledge all rules were followed whenever I went to Checkers.

But she did not say when she was there and what kind of gatherings might have taken place during Covid curb times.

Boris Johnson and Rachel Johnson

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Boris Johnson and Rachel Johnson


Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Johnson loyalist, told GB News he had visited Checkers with his family during the pandemic but the meeting was entirely within the rules.

He said: I was invited there with my children, completely in accordance with the rules. Another senior government minister was going to come but the prime minister canceled it because you were only allowed to have one family present at the time.

Mr Rees-Mogg also revealed that a cricket match had taken place. I would also say one of my kids after lunch knocked the prime minister down and took his middle stump off, but that would be bragging.

Among those known to be friends of the pair are journalist Alex Wickham, former Johnson adviser Henry Newman and longtime spokesman Ross Kempsell, who is believed to be the Prime Minister’s former tennis partner and is in the running for a peerage in his resignation honors list. All three were approached by The Independent.

Checkers has been the scene of many important meetings organized by Prime Ministers. In July 2020, Mr Johnson used a dinner there to ask then-Treasury adviser Allegra Stratton to join him as press secretary, according to the Daily Mail.

Boris and Carrie Johnson spent much of the first lockdown at Checkers

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Boris and Carrie Johnson spent much of the first lockdown at Checkers


And former BBC chairman Richard Sharp has confirmed he dined with Mr Johnson and his distant cousin Sam Blyth at Checkers in May 2021, after he was confirmed as the government’s choice for the broadcaster’s lead role. .

England was in national lockdown between late March and June 2020. In June people were allowed to meet outside in groups of up to six people, and in July hotel businesses were reopened and Gatherings of up to 30 people were legally permitted.

In September, restrictions were reimposed and the rule of six applied again before further relaxation on a three-tier regional basis. In November, a second nationwide lockdown was imposed and people were banned from meeting those outside their support bubble.

In December another tiered system was reintroduced, before another nationwide lockdown in January 2021 that allowed people to meet only under support bubbles.

In March 2021, England began a gradual exit from lockdown, starting with the six-gathering rule in March before all limits on social contact were lifted in July.

Mr Johnson also used Checkers to recuperate after being hospitalized critically ill with Covid in April 2020. It later emerged during the Partygate scandal that Carrie Johnson had been based at Checkers during the first lockdown in March 2020 .

The Prime Minister was also visiting No 10 during the period March 16-27, 2020. Downing Street insisted all rules were being followed, despite advice against travel to second homes.

Boris Johnson’s allies furious with Rishi Sunak over government file handed over to police

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Boris Johnson’s allies furious with Rishi Sunak over government file handed over to police

(PA Archive)

Former adviser Dominic Cummings has previously suggested the Partygate investigation should have focused on Checkers. Ask by dig up if there were parties at the country house, he would say: So say the people.

In the filing, Mr Johnsons spokesman dismissed the new gathering allegations as entirely untrue and said Cabinet Office officials had decided to make unfounded suggestions to both the police and the privileges committee.

The former prime minister has accused government officials of making bizarre and unacceptable claims, leading No 10 to deny that Mr Johnson was the victim of politically motivated confusion, adding that no minister was involved in sanctioning the file.

Alongside all this, the cross-party privileges committee is still considering whether Mr Johnson misled Parliament and, if so, what punishment would be appropriate.

He suspended his conclusions to consider developments this week, but it is understood MPs believe he is safe to move forward with his report, only delaying things for a week or two.




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