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Revealed: How Sir Keir Starmer set a trap for Boris Johnson over the Partygate scandal

Revealed: How Sir Keir Starmer set a trap for Boris Johnson over the Partygate scandal
Revealed: How Sir Keir Starmer set a trap for Boris Johnson over the Partygate scandal

 


Sir Keir Starmer has spoken out for the first time about how he set a trap for Boris Johnson over Partygate, luring the former prime minister into lies that forced him out of Parliament.

The Labor leader and former British chief prosecutor said he knew Mr Johnson's instinct, under pressure, was to lie and detailed how he had forensically led the Prime Minister to time to mislead the House of Commons.

Mr Johnson sensationally resigned as an MP last summer before facing the verdict of Parliament's Privileges Committee, which was expected to rule that he had lied about the Downing Street anti-lockdown party scandal .

Sir Keir Starmer explained how he forensically trapped Boris Johnson in a web of lies about Partygate
Sir Keir Starmer explained how he forensically trapped Boris Johnson in a web of lies about Partygate (AFP via Getty Images)

Calling him the first former prime minister to lie to the House of Commons, the Privileges Committee concluded that Mr Johnson committed repeated contempt of Parliament by deliberately misleading MPs about anti-lockdown parties before being complicit of a campaign of abuse and intimidation.

Sanctions against Mr Johnson included a ban on holding a pass to access Parliament, which is usually available to former MPs. He also would have faced a 90-day suspension if he had not already resigned.

In an interview with The GuardianSir Keir criticized Mr Johnson as a guy detached from the truth.

Whether he is lying or not is of no importance to him, Sir Keir said.

And he laid out the specific and intentional way he set a trap for Mr. Johnson over the Partygate saga.

He told the newspaper: When I first asked him, 'Have you followed all the rules?' I hadn't seen Allegra's video [Stratton, Johnsons director of strategic communications]. But she was told she laughed when asked: What do we say about the holidays?

So I said [to my team], I think there is something here. Let's record it. Because his instinct will be to lie. It’s a thread we’ve been pulling for months. I was less bothered by what he was telling me than by trying to be a forensic scientist and get him on the record.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said he knew Boris Johnson's instinct under pressure was to lie
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said he knew Boris Johnson's instinct under pressure was to lie (PA wire)

It finally paid off. He had to leave Parliament because he lied.

A report into Downing Street parties by former senior civil servant Sue Gray has exposed a shock culture of repeated breaches of Covid restrictions by senior No10 officials.

It contained several photographs of ex-Prime Minister Johnson and one of his successors, Rishi Sunak, attending a birthday party with his former boss.

Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson both received fines from the Met Police over the event, which took place on June 19, 2020.

Britain's top polling guru, Professor Sir John Curtice, said a key reason for the Tories' electoral woes, with Mr Sunak's party on course for a 1997-style wipeout, was the legacy left by Partygate.

Sources

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2/ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/keir-starmer-boris-johnson-partygate-b2567067.html

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