Claim that UK PM Johnson lied about lockdown party is nonsense, deputy says


LONDON (Reuters) – A declare by a former senior adviser to Boris Johnson that the British prime minister lied to parliament about not figuring out about a lockdown party in Downing Street is nonsense, his deputy mentioned on Tuesday.

Asked if the prime minister’s premiership was over if it may very well be proved that he had lied to parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab mentioned: “Look, the suggestion that he is lied is nonsense.

“He’s made it very clear to the House of Commons, took questions on this, that he thought it was a piece occasion,” he informed Times Radio.

Johnson final week apologised to parliament for attending a “deliver your individual booze” gathering within the backyard of Downing Street on May 20, 2020, however mentioned he had thought it was a piece occasion.

Dominic Cummings, an architect of Britain’s departure from the European Union and a former senior adviser to Johnson who left authorities beneath acrimonious phrases in November 2020, mentioned that Johnson had agreed that the drinks party ought to go forward.

“Not solely me however different eyewitnesses who mentioned this on the time would swear beneath oath this is what occurred,” he mentioned on his weblog.

Asked if Johnson ought to resign if he had lied, Raab mentioned he wouldn’t speculate about hypotheticals.

Johnson’s apology got here after ITV News revealed an e mail invitation from Johnson’s Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds to a May 20, 2020 occasion, asking attendees to “deliver your individual booze”.

Cummings mentioned that after Reynolds was informed to cancel the invite by a minimum of two individuals, Reynolds checked with Johnson if it ought to go forward.

“The PM agreed it ought to,” Cummings mentioned in his weblog.

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is investigating about a dozen allegations of rule-breaking by Johnson, his group and officers at his 10 Downing Street official residence. Senior ministers have mentioned individuals wanted to attend for the conclusion of her inquiry.

However, the scandals have seen Johnson’s private scores plummet and assist for his Conservative Party has sunk in opinion polls. A rising variety of Conservative lawmakers have mentioned he ought to now resign.

“I shall be calling for motion in opposition to anybody who has been discovered to have damaged the foundations,” junior well being minister Maria Caulfield mentioned on her web site.

“It is clear that there was a tradition inside Number 10 the place even when guidelines weren’t technically damaged, the spirit of the foundations had been, and this is utterly unacceptable.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; modifying by Michael Holden)

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