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New reports on Tuesday evening revealed that Boris Johnson has been referred to police after he was found to have violated further lockdown rules during the coronavirus pandemic.
Allies of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson have suggested the new allegations were a “witch hunt” and “stitching together”, and a spokesman for Mr Johnson said the newly uncovered incident was “legal and a new type”. We have not violated any coronavirus regulations.” .
The new allegations come as the Privileges Committee investigated Mr Johnson, seeking to establish whether he misled Congress over claims about his knowledge of the lockdown-breaking rally in Downing Street. floated inside.
Here’s what we know so far about the new “Partygate” gathering.
Why was Boris Johnson handed over to the police?
Mr Johnson was referred by the Cabinet Office to the London Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police after entries in ministerial diaries revealed that friends had visited Checkers during the pandemic.
The entry is also said to contain new information about a potential breach that occurred on Downing Street. according to Times.
The new details were revealed by the Cabinet Office during preparations for a public inquiry into the pandemic.
Government lawyers are said to have become concerned about the details of visitors to Checkers, the Prime Minister’s graceful residence in Buckinghamshire, during the preparations.
Public officials are required, under public guidance, to “report evidence of crimes or misconduct to the police or other appropriate regulatory authority.”
Thames Valley Police confirmed that evidence had been passed to the unit regarding “probable violations of health protection regulations at Checkers from June 2020 to May 2021”, while the Metropolitan Police said “from June to May 2021 He said he had been informed of possible violations of health protection regulations by March. Coming to Downing Street in May 2020 and 2021.
The government is paying legal representation costs for all current and former cabinet ministers involved in the official response to the pandemic, including Mr Johnson and former Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Who visited Boris Johnson during the pandemic?
according to Timesthe alleged violation of coronavirus regulations is linked to visits to Checkers by Mr. Johnson’s family and friends during the pandemic.
One high-profile event was a lunch at Garden No. 10 attended by Johnson and his mother, Charlotte, who died in September 2021. telegraph paper report.
In a separate incident, Johnson met TV host Kate Garraway in a Downing Street garden before being diagnosed with COVID-19 in March 2020 and left in life-threatening conditions, the paper said. She was allegedly involved in a discussion about her late husband, Derek Draper.
Jacob Leesmogg, Johnson’s House of Commons leader and Brexit secretary, suggested he was one of the visitors during the same period, but insisted the rules had not been broken.
He told GB News: “During that period, I was invited to Checkers with my children, according to the rules.”
“Another senior government minister was due to come, but the prime minister canceled it because only one family could attend at the time.”
He said Mr Johnson was “enthusiastic” to ensure that no rules were broken during his visit, and said the new allegations were “totally unrealistic”.
The former prime minister’s sister, journalist Rachel Johnson, also told the LBC on Tuesday night that she visited during that time, claiming that “every time I went to Checkers, all the rules were followed.”
“If [Mr Johnson] If he had a question to answer, he would definitely answer it,” she added.
What does Boris Johnson say about rallies?
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said the new allegations were “clearly politically motivated attempts to create something out of nothing”.
“Some abbreviated entries from Mr Johnson’s official diary were queried by the Cabinet Office during preparations for an investigation into the novel coronavirus,” they said.
“After reviewing the entries, Mr Johnson’s attorneys wrote to the Cabinet Office and the Commission on Privileges, explaining that these incidents were lawful and did not violate any COVID-19 regulations. ”
The spokesman also claimed the Cabinet Office did not seek to confirm Mr Johnson’s claims before handing the matter over to the police.
What does the government say about rallies?
A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office commented on the report, saying, “Information came to light during the process of preparing evidence to submit to an investigation into the novel coronavirus.
“This was identified as part of a routine disclosure review of potentially relevant documents that our legal team conducts for investigative witnesses.”
Attorney General Alex Chalk said Wednesday morning that there was no cabinet minister involvement in reporting the matter to the police.
“An investigation into the novel coronavirus is underway. In the process, the documents will need to be scrutinized or reviewed by an attorney to ensure that they can be disclosed in the normal way. ,” he told Sky News.
“The civil servants would like to make it clear that it was handed over to the police, in accordance with the norm, and without the intervention of the minister. would have criticized them.”
What other gatherings were held in Downing Street?
Following media reports of rallies in Downing Street and Whitehall during the pandemic, the Metropolitan Police investigated 12 events, of which Mr Johnson is said to have attended up to six.
He received a fixed penalty notice for one event related to his birthday rally held on June 19, 2020 at the Cabinet Office in Downing Street.
At that event, staff allegedly sang “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Johnson before eating Union Jack cake and Marks & Spencer party food.
Attendees at the rally included his wife Carrie Johnson, who was also notified of a fixed fine, and then-Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
A further 50 fines have been imposed against other staff in connection with events that took place between May 2020 and April 2021.
When will the investigation into the novel coronavirus begin?
The early stages of an investigation into the government’s response to the novel coronavirus investigation have already begun, with more than 200 individuals and organizations being asked to provide written evidence and thousands of documents, emails and WhatsApps.
Preliminary hearings were held earlier this year, and hearings are scheduled to begin on June 13.
Key witnesses in Phase 1, which focuses on government preparedness for the coronavirus pandemic, include former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron, and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the pre-pandemic period. is included.
However, there are also reports that investigations have been hampered by government officials “holding back” to produce evidence.
Is Boris Johnson still under investigation for lying to Congress?
Mr Johnson is currently under investigation by the Committee on Privileges, which seeks to determine whether he misled the House of Representatives over his claims that Mr Johnson knew about the 10th and Whitehall rally.
Members of the committee are examining evidence on at least four occasions that he may have deliberately misled lawmakers in his assurances to the House that the rules were being followed.
In his testimony to the committee, Mr Johnson reiterated that he did not deliberately mislead Congress in the three-and-a-half hours of intense scrutiny by lawmakers.
It’s unclear when the committee will issue its verdict, but it is expected to do so before the House wakes up for the summer recess.
If Johnson is found to have recklessly or deliberately misled Congress, he would most likely face a temporary suspension from the House, with the exact period set at the discretion of the committee.