Partygate takes a new turn with evidence from former chief advisor
As the Partygate scandal continues to unfold, former chief advisor Dominic Cummings brings forward evidence that will lead to contradictions in Boris' statements.
Boris Johnson will face criticism for the Partygate photos that will soon contradict his previous claims, his former chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, said. The former aid, who resigned in November 2020, has stated that witnesses have evidence that the PM has breached more lockdown rules than previously thought.
He claims that the witnesses have evidence of breaches in Downing Street and that such evidence will provide grounds for further breach revelations.
Johnson had repeatedly denied before the house that he or his staff had breached the strict lockdown his government had put in place, though fines issued last month have proven his claims to be false. He did apologize for the scandal but remained adamant he never knowingly misled parliament and vowed to press on with other issues, including the war in Ukraine.
The premier had previously stressed that accepting a fine did not mean he broke the law. His allies also revealed that he would not resign were he to be fined.
“Lots of junior people and particularly women – some of whom were told to go to certain events … and assured that the PM’s PPS [principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds] had a process to ensure lawfulness – have been fined, sometimes multiple times, while those who organized and attended the same events including the PM have been let off,” said Cummings.
The staff argued that they believed that No. 10 had certain exemptions from the local governmental COVID-19 regulations. Some of the assumed exemptions, says Cummings, included mass Covid testing. The rules that applied internally were very unclear for staff members.
Cummings stated that “if we’re being fined, how come the PM who was there and appointed Martin, and unlike us was told BYOB was NOT within the rules, isn’t fined?!’”
This shows the discrepancies in treatment leaving junior staff to take the bulk of the blame when they were in fact following requests by their superiors. It also shows that the police have not investigated certain events that Johnson had attended.
Furthermore, the former chief says that the scandal extends to messages that left a trail of proof regarding a birthday party that took place in No. 11, where Boris and his wife, Carrie, live.
Civil servants are bracing for harsh criticism of top Whitehall officials' behavior in the Sue Gray Partygate report after the government's former ethics chief apologized for attending an illegal gathering.
Gray’s full report is expected shortly. Those named in it have been given the chance to make representation. Gray was accused of “playing politics” by the Daily Mail.