Home UK News Named: The ‘partygate’ events Boris Johnson lied about

Named: The ‘partygate’ events Boris Johnson lied about

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Boris Johnson jogging under press-pursuit

Boris Johnson regularly misled to Parliament about lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street, according to the Privileges Committee.

The committee’s findings stated Mr Johnson would have risked a 90-day suspension if he had still been an MP, and that his parliamentary pass, which is generally granted to retired MPs, should be revoked.

The cross-party panel of MPs decided that Mr Johnson made “deliberate attempts to mislead the committee and the House” in their 108-page report.

It examines the facts of a number of Downing Street gatherings, concluding that it is “highly unlikely” Mr Johnson could determine that they did not violate the rules, and that he thereby deceived the Commons and committee.

According to the committee, Mr Johnson lied about the following ‘parties’:

20 May 2020: ‘Bring your own booze’

This is the meeting in Downing Street’s garden that Mr Johnson’s Civil Service adviser Martin Reynolds invited No 10 personnel to, with the suggestion “bring your own booze.”

The committee discovered that several senior No. 10 personnel were “concerned” about the “social nature” of the event and were hesitant to attend, however it was unclear if these concerns were expressed with Mr Johnson.

The presence of Mr Johnson’s wife, Carrie, “who we consider it is obvious cannot be described as a ‘absolutely necessary participant,'” as well as others from outside No 10, and trestle tables with wine, suggested a social purpose, according to the committee.

The committee believes the meeting violated Covid guidelines because “a social gathering held purely for the purpose of improving staff morale cannot be regarded as having been essential for work purposes.”

Mr Johnson was not fined by the Metropolitan Police Service for this gathering.

Mr Johnson confessed attending the party last year, telling MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions that he thanked colleagues in the Downing Street garden but “implicitly believed that this was a work event.”

19 June 2020: Birthday cake

Mr Johnson was fined for attending a birthday party in the Cabinet chamber, but he told the committee that “it seemed to me […] perfectly proper” for officials to be “asked to come and wish me a happy birthday.”

However, the committee stated that such an explanation was “not convincing,” noting that the ex-PM was “unable to explain why he considered his wife and interior designer ‘absolutely necessary participants’ in a work-related meeting.”

“His assertion that the Prime Minister’s family has the right to use every part of the building,” the committee stated, “does not constitute an explanation.”

The MPs notice that Mr Johnson admitted his presence was illegal “but does not specify how he committed an offence.”

Boris Johnson at his birthday party
(Image: PA)

Up to 30 individuals were alleged to have attended the surprise party to mark his 56th birthday on June 19, 2020, with a birthday cake delivered and Happy Birthday sung.

Mr Johnson and his wife, as well as Rishi Sunak, the then-Chancellor, apologised for violating lockdown regulations after receiving a £50 punishment from the Metropolitan Police Service in April.

Mr Johnson admitted that the public “had a right to expect better” from someone in charge of Covid limitations, but argued that he did not feel he had broken any regulations at the time and would not quit.

13 November 2020: Leaving do for communications director

The committee discovered that Mr Johnson was photographed at a leaving party for his director of communications, Lee Cain, on November 13, 2020, which “would have been clear” to him against the rules.

Mr Johnson’s claim that No. 10 personnel were under extreme stress during the Covid pandemic was rejected by the committee, observing that this was replicated at “organisations across the UK.”

“We do not believe that this provided a licence for Mr Johnson’s conveniently flexible interpretation of the rules on gatherings or the guidance on social distancing,” they said.

The MPs stated that they did not believe Mr Johnson would tell the British people that unsocially distanced “leaving dos” to preserve employee morale would be acceptable, despite his repeated requests for them to respect the regulations.

27 November 2020: Leaving do for special adviser

Mr Johnson sacked Cleo Watson from her position as a Downing Street adviser following the resignation of Mr Cummings, with whom she had previously worked.

Mr Johnson spent 10 minutes attending an impromptu gathering in the No. 10 press office “vestibule” with 15 to 20 individuals there, and there was no sign of social distancing.

According to the committee, there is “no reasonable reading” of Covid guidelines that would have permitted this scenario.

Mr Johnson is alleged to have delivered a speech at the top aide’s farewell party.

Ms Watson, who was fined for attending the departing do, warned that “dozens” more individuals might face inquiries after it was revealed that police are investigating Johnson over new accusations of lockdown-breaking events in Chequers and Downing Street.

18 December 2020: Christmas party

While London was under Tier 3 lockdown, which prohibited inside mingling, up to 40 individuals allegedly attended a party at Downing Street.

Mr Johnson did not attend the gathering, claiming that he heard nothing from his flat and saw no one who was “detectably under the influence of alcohol.”

The committee, however, dismissed his assertion that he did not observe the gathering in the press office because there were 25 to 40 people there, drinking began at 5 p.m. and went until the early hours of the morning, and he passed through at 9.58 p.m.

The MPs determined that the ex-PM was “unlikely” to be aware that the “crowded” gathering violated the guidelines.

14 January 2021: Leaving do for two officials

During the January 2021 lockdown, Mr Johnson was said to have attended a Prosecco-fueled leaving party.

He is alleged to have delivered a speech while there congratulating a leaving civil servant for their hard work.

The country’s third national Covid lockdown had gone into effect the previous week, with a “stay at home” order prohibiting individuals from leaving their homes except for a few exceptions, such as when it was impossible to work from home.

Again, the committee stated that Mr Johnson’s statement that this event was essential “purely to maintain staff morale” did not mean it was in accordance with Covid guidelines.

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