Boris Johnson says he didn’t believe No. 10 events were illegal
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Rishi Sunak is braced for Boris Johnson’s “bombshell” defence dossier as the former PM prepares for his Partygate hearing. But one of Mr Sunak’s cabinet ministers Oliver Dowden told Sky News that the Prime Minister has “a lot of respect” for his predecessor but one. Mr Dowden also confirmed that Mr Sunak is likely to his MPs a free vote on Mr Johnson’s future if he is sanctioned by the privileges committee, which is currently investigating whether or not the former Prime Minister misled the House of Commons over Partygate.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told Sky News: “It’s a fairly well-established principal that we don’t interfere in house business”.
Mr Johnson’s allies have said he is preparing to unveil “bombshell” evidence that he believes will exonerate him.
A source close to the former Prime Minister told the Telegraph that the “defence dossier” includes “new evidence that helps his case”.
They added: “His case is that he told Parliament what he believed to be true at the time.
“There is documentary evidence which will show that he was advised to say what he went on and said.”
Mr Johnson has always claimed that he believed no rules were broken when he told MPs as much in the House of Commons.
The former Prime Minister is preparing to produce WhatsApp messages and other forms of internal communications from the time.
The source continued: “When ministers go into the Commons, they are basically just reading out what they have been briefed to say.
“They trust the advice they are given, and that is justified. They have to be able to do that in order to make parliament work effectively.
“That is what any minister would have done. Ministers need to be able to rely on what they have been told when they are updating Parliament.”
Mr Johnson’s legal team is required to submit its defence in writing by Monday, ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.
One of the former PM’s allies said the evidence will “show that the general assumption of everyone present, including those hostile to Boris, was that rules and guidance were followed.”
They added: “That destroys the argument that Boris must have known it was not in the rules.”
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