Boris Johnson calls police over possible new coronavirus rule violations

  • British government passes information on Johnson to police
  • Police are evaluating information related to COVID-19 rule violations
  • Johnson’s office defiantly says accusation baseless

LONDON, May 23, 2019 (Reuters) – Britain’s Boris Johnson has been referred to police on suspicion of further breaches of lockdown rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. , the former prime minister’s office described the charges as “a new politically motivated incident”.

The Cabinet Office, which is responsible for overseeing government operations, said it had referred police based on information discovered while preparing to submit a public inquiry into the pandemic.

The Times, which first reported the news on Tuesday, said the minister’s diary showed friends visiting Chequers, the country estate used by the sitting prime minister as his residence during the pandemic. Stated.

The Cabinet Office has admitted to providing the information to the police “in line with its obligations under the Public Service Law.”

Both the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police, which serve the area around the city of Checker, said they were reviewing information about possible violations of health protection regulations between June 2020 and May 2021.

Johnson, who was ousted in office in part due to anger within his party and across the UK over an unruly COVID-19 lockdown party at his Downing Street office and mansion. He argued that the allegations were baseless.

“The Cabinet Office’s allegations that there were further COVID-19 rule violations are completely false. Lawyers have investigated the incidents in question and advised them to be legitimate,” his office said in a statement.

“Many would conclude that this also has all the characteristics of a politically motivated incident.”

Earlier, Johnson’s spokesman said some “truncated entries” in the former prime minister’s official diaries were inquired by the Cabinet Office in preparation for the UK’s coronavirus probe, but were responded to by lawyers. Stated.

This is another blow for Johnson. Johnson is keen to build a name for himself as one of Ukraine’s most ardent supporters in the fight against Russian aggression and is still a potential return to the UK’s top government post from some of the ruling Conservative Party. considered a voter. .

“Weakening Johnson”

He remains one of the most prominent figures in British politics and one of the most divisive in politics.

Johnson, the Brexit spokesperson who secured a landslide victory in the 2019 general election, was forced to resign by his own party in 2022 after a string of scandals and missteps.

He was fined by police for attending a birthday party in Downing Street in June 2020, making him the first prime minister found to have broken the law while in office.

But he also maintains support among some Conservatives who still see him as their best hope of staying in power, a move that will spur splits within the party ahead of general elections expected next year. It is a factor that causes

Johnson stays under investigation A congressional committee disputed whether he intentionally or recklessly misled the House over the so-called “partygate.”

The former prime minister told the Privileges Committee that there was no evidence that he deliberately misled lawmakers.

His office said the Cabinet Office action was “a last-ditch attempt to extend the Privileges Committee investigation that is nearing conclusion and undermine Mr Johnson,” and a meeting at Checkers has been held. Suggested within the rules. Subject to outdoor or exemption.

“Mr Johnson’s attorneys have sent a letter to relevant police tonight detailing why the Cabinet Office’s allegations are completely false.”

Reporting by William James, Editing by Chris Reese

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

William James

thomson Reuters

William leads the UK breaking news team, ensuring that Reuters is the first to report on major political, economic and general news developments. He previously spent nearly a decade in Westminster as a UK political correspondent, and before that covered financial markets during the Eurozone debt crisis.

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