Boris Johnson latest: Cabinet secretary says he ‘never told PM’ Covid rules had been followed

Boris Johnson seen for first time since Partygate’s defense dossier was released

MPs investigating whether Boris Johnson lied to the House of Commons have released their Partygate evidence – hours before the former Prime Minister appears before them at a hearing that could decide his political future.

Among the new findings in the Privilege Committee’s “core bundle” of evidence is Simon Case, Mr Johnson’s cabinet secretary, who said he never told the Prime Minister that Covid rules were being followed at Downing Street gatherings during the pandemic.

In a 52-page defense presented to the committee, the former prime minister said he had received assurances from advisers the rules would be followed before raising the demand in the House of Commons.

The Privileges Committee’s afternoon session with Mr Johnson is due to start at 2pm and could last four hours.

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Mr Johnson said he was “very much” looking forward to the TV barbecue after insisting there was “no evidence” he had deliberately misled Parliament about parties at Downing Street during the pandemic.

If the committee members rule against him, they decide on a punishment, which can be a written apology, a pay cut, or a suspension from the House of Commons for a period of time.


Officer #10 questioned the “All guidelines were followed” line

An official questioned whether Boris Johnson could realistically claim all guidance was followed at events at Downing Street during lockdown, evidence released by the Privileges Committee shows.

Martin Reynolds, Boris Johnson’s chief private secretary from October 2019 to March 2022, said he recalled asking Boris Johnson about the line proposed for PMQs on December 7 and suggested all rules and guidance had been followed.

Mr Reynolds said the former Prime Minister “did not welcome the disruption but did tell me he had received assurances that the communications event was within rules”.

“I accepted this but questioned whether, given the nature of the work environment in Number 10, it is realistic to argue that all guidance was followed at all times.

“He agreed to delete the reference to the instructions.”

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 09:30


The BYOB party is a “bad idea,” Official No. 10 warned

A No10 official warned Boris Johnson’s former chief private secretary, Martin Reynolds, that the ‘bring your own boze’ party at Downing Street was a ‘bad idea’.

“I heard there were so many people unhappy about the party that they wouldn’t go.”

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 9:27 am


Partygate evidence released

The Privileges Committee has released a dossier containing evidence gathered during its investigation into whether former Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled Parliament about irregular Covid-19 lockdown parties.

Johnson is scheduled to appear before the committee later on Wednesday.

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 9:14 am


We await the release of the Privileges Committee’s evidence in the Partygate Inquiry into Boris Johnson’s remarks.

The hearing of evidence was due at 9 a.m. We will bring you an update as soon as it is released.

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 09:08


Boris Johnson and Liz Truss want to vote against Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss have announced they will vote against Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal.

Former Prime Minister Johnson, who had previously expressed concerns about the deal negotiated with Brussels, confirmed he would not back the deal when MPs vote on the Stormont brake in the House of Commons later on Wednesday.

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 09:01


Partygate evidence to be released ahead of Boris Johnson’s TV cricket

The Privileges Committee is set to release its Partygate evidence at 9am – hours before Boris Johnson faces a cricket that could determine his political future.

The committee will release a “core bundle” of evidence this morning, which will be referred to during this afternoon’s session with the former prime minister, which is due to start at 2pm and could last four hours.

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 08:02


Jeremy Hunt: The fall in inflation is not inevitable

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said after the latest inflation figures that “falling inflation is not inevitable”.

The CPI inflation rate rose to 10.4 percent in February from 10.1 percent in January, according to the ONS.

“Falling inflation is not inevitable, so we must stick to our plan to halve it this year,” said the Chancellor.

“We know how difficult it is for families across the country and as we work to get inflation under control we will be helping families this year with living expenses worth an average of £3,300 per household.”

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 08:02


Johnson’s Partygate defense is “complete and utter nonsense,” says Covid

A man whose father died of Covid-19 and was buried the day before Boris Johnson was photographed sitting at a table enjoying wine and cheese in Garden No 10 with his wife Carrie and staff, described the Partygate defence of the former Prime Minister as “complete”. and utter nonsense”.

Mr Johnson accepted he had misled MPs but said his rejection was “in good faith” based on what he “honestly” knew at the time.

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 07:45


Inflation rises to 10.4%

The CPI inflation rate rose to 10.4 percent in February, with food and drink prices again driving the rise, the Bureau for National Statistics said.

The latest rate rose from 10.1 percent in January but is nowhere near last year’s high of 11.1 percent in October.

ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: “Inflation rose in February, largely due to rising alcohol prices in pubs and restaurants following January’s price cut.

“Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose to their highest levels in over 45 years, with some salad and vegetable items in particular rising as high energy costs and inclement weather in parts of Europe led to shortages and rationing.

“These were partially offset by the fall in fuel costs, where the annual inflation rate has eased for seven straight months.”

Liam JamesMarch 22, 2023 07:20


Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s pension reform is backed by MPs

MPs have backed a pension restructuring that Rishi Sunak claims will help reduce NHS waiting lists.

The Prime Minister argued that the tax cut for people with pension pots worth more than £1million will result in doctors taking on more hours, although he couldn’t say how many would continue to work as a result.

More on this story below:

Emily AtkinsonMarch 22, 2023 07:00


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