British minister says claims of lawmaker blackmail unlikely to be true


LONDON (Reuters) – British Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng mentioned on Friday that claims that lawmakers had been intimidated and blackmailed by representatives of the federal government appeared unusual and have been unlikely to be true.

A senior Conservative lawmaker accused the British authorities on Thursday of intimidating and trying to “blackmail” these lawmakers they think of wanting to pressure Prime Minister Boris Johnson out of energy.

William Wragg, chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, mentioned some lawmakers had confronted intimidation and blackmail as a result of of their want to topple Johnson.

“I’ve been an MP for 12 years now and I’ve by no means heard of the sort of allegations which can be being made – blackmail,” Kwarteng instructed Sky. “I discover it unusual.”

“I discover it very unlikely that these allegations are true.”

He mentioned he had by no means heard that cash may be withheld from communities on account of the behaviour of the lawmaker by the whips, who enforces celebration self-discipline.

“I discover it unusual as a result of the whip’s workplace would not even have the facility over spending in that method,” he mentioned.

Johnson, who in 2019 received his celebration’s largest majority in additional than 30 years, is now preventing to shore up his authority after a sequence of revelations about events in his Downing Street residence throughout COVID lockdowns.

Johnson has repeatedly apologised for the events and mentioned he was unaware of many of them.

However, he attended what he mentioned he thought was a piece occasion on May 20, 2020 to which employees had been instructed to “convey their very own booze”. Johnson mentioned on Tuesday that no one had instructed him the gathering was towards COVID guidelines.

Leading rivals inside the Conservative Party embrace Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, 41, and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, 46.

Truss, on a go to to Australia, mentioned she supported Johnson.

“The Prime Minister has my 100% assist,” mentioned Truss. “I need the Prime Minister to proceed so long as potential in his job. He is doing a implausible job. There is not any management election.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; modifying by Paul Sandle)

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