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Good morning. Boris Johnson’s critics imagine that, if they will show he lied to the Home of Commons, then lastly they may have the proof to power him out (as a result of the ministerial code says “ministers who knowingly mislead parliament might be anticipated to supply their resignation to the prime minister”) and Dominic Cummings is making an attempt once more to lever the PM out on these grounds.

Cummings has tried earlier than, and final yr he told MPs in evidence to a committee that he had heard Johnson say he would moderately see the “our bodies pile excessive” than order a 3rd lockdown – a declare Johnson had categorically denied from the dispatch field. However final yr the parliamentary authorities, and even the committee taking proof from Cummings, confirmed no real interest in following up Cummings’ proof on this level, and adjudicating on who was telling the reality, and the allegation was left hanging in mid air.

Yesterday Cummings returned with new proof of Johnson mendacity which, as a result of partygate has turn into such a poisonous controversy, might be a lot tougher to disregard.

In his statement to MPs last week Johnson mentioned that when he attended the get together within the No 10 backyard on 20 Might 2020, when lockdown restrictions had been in power, he “believed implicitly that this was a piece occasion”. No 10 has additionally mentioned that Johnson was not “warned” in advance that it would be a mistake for the party to go ahead.

There have additionally been claims from the federal government that he didn’t comprehend it was taking place prematurely. No 10 says he didn’t see the e-mail from his principal personal secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting employees to the get together (though it might not be uncommon for a PM to not learn an e mail a few diary matter – his employees are there to learn them for him). And on the At this time programme this morning Dominic Raab, the justice secretary and deputy PM, was requested to substantiate that Johnson has denied figuring out “prematurely about it [the party]”. That was right, Raab mentioned.

Cummings’ proof, if true, blows the Johnson account to items. In a brand new publish on his Substack blog, he says that he personally advised Johnson on the day of the get together that holding it was a mistake. Johnson “waved [the concerns] apart”, Cummings says. He additionally says that he and one other “very senior official” advised Reynolds on the day that holding the get together could be in opposition to the foundations. Cummings says Reynolds disagreed, however mentioned he would talk about it with the PM. Cummings says he’s “certain” Reynolds did examine with the PM.

Raab has been giving interviews this morning. He advised Occasions Radio that Cummings’ claims had been “nonsense”. He mentioned:


The suggestion that [Johnson] lied is nonsense. He’s made it very clear to the Home of Commons … that he thought it was a piece occasion.

However Raab additionally refused to debate the small print of Cummings claims, and he mentioned these had been issues for the investigation by Sue Grey, the civil servant investigating all of the partygate claims.

Raab additionally admitted that, in regular circumstances, mendacity to parliament could be a resignation matter. After stressing that he didn’t need to “get into hypotheticals”, he advised the At this time programme:


If it’s mendacity, deliberate in the way in which you describe, if it’s not corrected instantly, it might usually, below the ministerial code and the governance round parliament, be a resigning matter.

Right here is the agenda for the day.

Morning: Boris Johnson chairs cupboard.

10am: Richard Meddings, the federal government’s proposed candidate for chair of NHS England, offers proof to the Commons well being committee.

11.15am: Greg Fingers, the vitality minister, and Christopher Pincher, the housing minister, give proof to the Commons enterprise committee about vitality coverage.

11.30am: Downing Road holds a foyer briefing.

11.30am: Sajid Javid, the well being secretary, takes questions within the Commons.

11.30am: Kwasi Kwarteng, the enterprise secretary, offers proof to the Commons Scottish affairs committee about Storm Arwen.

12pm: Vaughan Gething, the Welsh authorities’s financial system minister, holds a Covid briefing.

12.15pm: Andy Burnham, the mayor of Larger Manchester, holds a press convention on Covid.

1.30pm: Mark Drakeford, the Welsh first minister, takes questions within the Senedd.

2pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, makes an announcement on Covid within the Scottish parliament.

There might be some UK Covid protection right here, however for extra coronavirus protection, do learn our world reside weblog. It’s right here.

I attempt to monitor the feedback beneath the road (BTL) however it’s not possible to learn all of them. You probably have a direct query, do embrace “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra more likely to discover it. I do attempt to reply questions, and if they’re of basic curiosity, I’ll publish the query and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you wish to appeal to my consideration shortly, it’s most likely higher to make use of Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you possibly can e mail me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com



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