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UK Covid stay: Dominic Raab says Cummings’ declare Johnson lied to parliament is ‘nonsense’ | Politics


Good morning. Boris Johnson’s critics consider that, if they’ll 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 will likely be anticipated to supply their resignation to the prime minister”) and Dominic Cummings is attempting once more to lever the PM out on these grounds.

Cummings has tried earlier than, and final yr he advised MPs in proof to a committee that he had heard Johnson say he would reasonably 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 out to be such a poisonous controversy, will likely be a lot more durable to disregard.

In his assertion to MPs final 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” prematurely that it could be a mistake for the get together to go forward.

There have additionally been claims from the federal government that he didn’t comprehend it was occurring prematurely. No 10 says he didn’t see the e-mail from his principal non-public secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting employees to the get together (though it could not be uncommon for a PM to not learn an electronic mail a couple of diary matter – his employees are there to learn them for him). And on the In the present day programme this morning Dominic Raab, the justice secretary and deputy PM, was requested to verify that Johnson has denied understanding “prematurely about it [the party]”. That was appropriate, Raab mentioned.

Cummings’ proof, if true, blows the Johnson account to items. In a brand new publish on his Substack weblog, 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 can be towards the foundations. Cummings says Reynolds disagreed, however mentioned he would focus on it with the PM. Cummings says he’s “positive” Reynolds did test 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 main points 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 can be a resignation matter. After stressing that he didn’t wish to “get into hypotheticals”, he advised the In the present day programme:


If it’s mendacity, deliberate in the best way you describe, if it’s not corrected instantly, it could usually, underneath 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 Palms, 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 economic 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 a press release on Covid within the Scottish parliament.

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

I attempt to monitor the feedback under the road (BTL) however it’s unimaginable 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 normal 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 in all probability higher to make use of Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

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





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