Boris Johnson allies accuse Cabinet Office of wilfully wasting police time

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Boris Johnson’s allies are looking at the possibility the Cabinet Office could be wasting police time over fresh claims of potential lockdown breaches during the Covid pandemic.

Civil servants referred information to two police forces after a review of the ex-PM’s official diary.

Mr Johnson – who was forced out of No 10 last year in part due to the Partygate row – has denied the allegations, with a spokesman branding it a “politically motivated stitch-up”.

And sources close to him tonight said they were looking at the possibility the Cabinet Office may be wasting police time.

They pointed out that the offence is itself punishable by a fixed penalty notice.

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Mr Johnson was reported to the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police after diary entries supposedly raised new concerns over events at Chequers and Downing Street.

Cabinet Office officials handed information over to the two forces following a review of his official diary by taxpayer-funded lawyers ahead of the Covid public inquiry.

The Privileges Committee, which is conducting a probe into whether Mr Johnson lied to Parliament about Partygate, has also been informed.

Mr Johnson – who was slapped with a fine in April last year for breaking lockdown rules after attending a gathering on his birthday in June 2020 – has since ditched the Government-appointed lawyers.

No 10 has insisted Rishi Sunak and ministers were not involved in the decision to shop the 58-year-old to the police.

Former Downing Street director of communication Guto Harri yesterday said some people have become “addicted” to the Partygate saga following the latest development.

Mr Harri told The News Agents podcast: “Some people have just got addicted to Partygate and their appetite to express their rage over it and try to, sort of, exact revenge upon Boris Johnson in particular will never be satiated.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The Cabinet Office has not made any assessment or conducted any investigation of the material that has been passed to the police.

“Ministers played no role in deciding whether the information should be handed over to the police.

“The police were first contacted on May 16 prior to any minister being made aware.

“The decision to contact the police and the subsequent decision to share the information was not made by ministers but by officials acting in line with the Civil Service Code.”

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