Boris Johnson has called suggestions that he might have been involved in more rule-breaking during the pandemic “a bunch of utter nonsense”.
The former prime minister would not say who he thinks is trying to “stitch” him up, having previously stated that he appears to be the victim of a politically motivated plot.
But he insisted that the Cabinet Office’s decision to hand over his official journal entries during the pandemic to police without first consulting him was “ridiculous.”
No 10 and the Cabinet Office insist ministers were not involved when Whitehall officials relayed the concerns to the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police.
The entries revealed visits by Johnson’s friends to Checkers, the prime minister’s estate, and events in Downing Street during the pandemic, according to The Times, which published the story.
The new information is said to have come to light during a review by taxpayer-funded lawyers ahead of the public Covid inquiry.
Johnson was taking a flight in Washington DC on Friday as part of his trip to the US, where he is speaking about the war in Ukraine, when a Sky News journalist approached him about the revelations.
“You want my honest point of view, I think this is all completely absurd,” he said.
When asked what the entries show, he replied, “They just record events in my day.”
Johnson was previously fined for attending a gathering in Downing Street to mark his birthday in June 2020, one of a series of political crises that ultimately led to the end of his term.
“This is all a bunch of nonsense from start to finish… I think it’s ridiculous that items from my diary are selected and handed over to the police, the Committee on Privileges without anyone having the basic common sense to ask me. what did these entries refer to,” he said.
Asked if he thinks Sunak is trying to stitch him up, he said: “I think it’s totally absurd and weird. There are tens of thousands of entries in the Prime Minister’s diary… None of them constitute a breach of the rules during Covid.”
Johnson suggested that none of the entries in question relate to periods when the country was shut down, but to periods when other restrictions were in place.
He added: “For reasons that someone, somewhere thinks it’s sensible to do this, I don’t do it.”
The privileges committee, which is investigating whether Johnson lied to Parliament about the partygate scandal, has also been informed of the new information.
The fallout adds to the problems facing Sunak, who received a fixed ban along with Johnson for the June 2020 event and is now facing riots from allies of the former prime minister.
Sunak “definitely” did not go to the pardon retreat in contravention of coronavirus rules when he was foreign minister during the pandemic, his press secretary said.
The Rim minister has not discussed the controversy with his predecessor, the spokeswoman said.
Johnson, in a letter to the president of the Covid investigation, indicated that he was cutting ties with the taxpayer-funded lawyers representing him.
It is understood that he lost confidence in the Cabinet Office.
Labor leader Keir Starmer said on Friday the public was “fed up to the teeth” with stories about the former prime minister.
“These are deeply personal things and the growing revelations about Boris Johnson, I think, only add to that sense of pain and people are sick of it,” he said.
“I think now there are questions about why these allegations didn’t come out sooner, all these allegations.
Leave a Reply