Boris Johnson will ‘cooperate fully’ with police investigation into parties, says No 10

Prime minister thinks it ‘entirely right’ for police to look into allegations and does not believe he broke law, says spokesperson

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Tuesday 25 January 2022 13:43
Cressida Dick confirms ‘Met is now investigating’ Downing Street partygate allegations

Boris Johnson will “fully co-operate” with any requests from the Metropolitan Police inquiry into alleged Downing Street parties, including by being interviewed by officers or handing over documents, No 10 has said.

Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said he “welcomed” the Met police investigation, and claimed it would help to “draw a line” under the issue.

He said: “I welcome the Met’s decision to conduct its own investigation, because I believe this will help to give the public the clarity it needs and help to draw a line under matters.”

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said Mr Johnson thinks it is “entirely right” for the Met to look into allegations of breaches of lockdown rules at No 10 and believes the investigation will provide “clarity” and draw a line under the controversy.

And asked if the PM believed he had broken the law, the spokesperson replied: “He does not.”

The prime minister was informed of the plan to launch a police investigation shortly before it was announced by Commissioner Cressida Dick to the London Assembly on Tuesday morning, said the spokesperson.

But Mr Johnson did not tell ministers gathered at No 10 for the weekly meeting of cabinet, which began before Dame Cressida’s bombshell announcement.

Instead he alluded briefly to his determination that the government should not be “deterred from getting on with the job” by the controversy over parties.

Downing Street said that Whitehall mandarin Sue Gray will pause her investigation into those events being looked into by police, but will continue her work on other allegations not deemed to merit criminal investigation.

She will be free to publish a report on those allegations when she is ready to do so, but cannot resume work on the events being considered by the Met until the police investigation is over.

Mr Johnson’s spokesperson said that everyone at No 10 will “fully co-operate in any way they are asked to” by police. He said this would include the PM being interviewed or handing over documents, diaries or mobile phones.

Asked if Mr Johnson thinks he has not broken the law, his spokesperson said: “I need to be cautious about what I say but I think that’s fair to say that he does not.”

Mr Johnson’s spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister thinks it is entirely right for the police to investigate these matters.

“He commissioned the Cabinet Office to establish the facts and, as set out in the published terms of reference, and as the Commissioner has said this morning, the independent process has always involved the sharing of information with the Met and the ability for the Met to take forward and investigate matters pertaining to the law, as is right.

“The PM fully acknowledges the public’s anger and concern about what has been reported, he has taken responsibility for his judgments made and it is right the Met should be now given the time and space to undertake their investigations.

“It will provide the public with welcome clarity and help draw a line under these events and everyone required will fully co-operate in any way they are asked.”

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