Documents filed by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the House Privileges Committee admit that he misled lawmakers by saying that no party at 10 Downing Street violated COVID-19 rules. contained.
He said he denied it “in good faith” based on information available at the time.
On 8 December 2021, in response to a question from a Labor MP about whether there was a party in Downing Street on 13 November 2020, Johnson said: The rules were always followed. ”
Johnson then gave a speech at communications director Lee Kane’s retirement party on November 13, 2020, but was revealed to have left the company 15 minutes later.
However, he said he had not been warned that the rally might be in violation of COVID-19 rules, saying, “At the time, there could have been an illegal event at No. 10 without one of mine. It seemed hard to believe that there was a sexuality. Many officials informed me of it.”
on page 52 document Mr Johnson, who resigned in July after most of his cabinet resigned over other issues, claimed he “did not intentionally or recklessly mislead the House”.
A Metropolitan Police investigation into COVID-19 lockdown violations ended with a total of 126 fines for 83 people, including Johnson, his wife Carrie and then-Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
A report by senior civil servant Sue Gray, published May 25, 2022, denounced the wider culture that was allowed to develop under Johnson’s leadership, stating: Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen. ”
The commission’s first report, released earlier this month, said: The evidence strongly suggests that the violation of guidance was evident at the time Johnson attended the meeting.
Johnson is due to present evidence to the committee on Wednesday, but he filed documents in his own defense on Monday, which were released by the committee on Tuesday.
He begins: myself. I therefore begin by once again apologizing to the British people for what happened under my scrutiny. ”
Johnson continued: This should not have happened, and I am filled with sorrow and regret that it happened. ”
Johnson could face recall by-election
Johnson could face suspension by the Privileges Committee if found to have misled Congress, which would expose him to the possibility. recall and by-elections in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituencies.
Johnson and Snak were fined in June 2020 for attending an impromptu birthday event in the then-Prime Minister’s cabinet room.
“To this day it remains unclear to me, and I think the Prime Minister feels the same way, how exactly we committed the crime under the rules,” Johnson said in a statement. It’s unknown,’ he said.
“No evidence has been provided by the police as to why some of the individuals who attended in particular did not receive fixed penalty notices,” he said.
Former prime minister claims he didn’t eat birthday cake
Johnson recalls the event as follows: It wasn’t known in advance that this would happen. The cake was inedible and no one was singing “Happy Birthday”. A major topic of conversation was responding to Covid-19. ”
In a legal statement, Johnson admitted that the denials were found to be untrue, but said he would correct the record “at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Mr Johnson added: I honestly knew and believed at the time.
“I did not intentionally or recklessly mislead the House of Representatives on December 1, 2021, December 8, 2021, or any other date. I never dreamed I would,” he added.
Johnson said that other than “the discredited Dominic Cummings allegation,” he “did not have a single document indicating that he was warned or advised that any event broke the rules.”
Cummings resigned as Johnson’s chief of staff in November 2020 and has been highly critical of his former boss since.
Johnson rejects claims that the violation of COVID-19 rules should have been “obvious” to him.
He said it was “illogical” and that the commission’s claim of obviousness was “fundamentally flawed.”
Mr Johnson said: Many of those individuals wanted me to be sick and had no hesitation in defeating me if I tried to cover up or “cover up” the truth from the House.
Johnson: ‘Absolutely nothing’
He added: “If someone knew or believed that a rule or guidance had been broken (because it was ‘obvious’), there was documentation, including emails and WhatsApp messages, documenting this at the same time. would expect that. Some discussion, or some posthumous. Absolutely not. ”
The former prime minister said, “As soon as the Sue Gray investigation and the Metropolitan Police Department investigation were completed, the records were corrected. I believed this was the earliest opportunity to make the necessary corrections.
He added: I explained to the House that that was what I intended and what I did on May 25, 2022: Sue Gray’s final report, six days after the police investigation ended. It is the same day the book was issued. ”
Opposition Labor leader Sir Kiel Sturmer recently announced that Gray would be joining as Chief of Staff.