Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens during an economic development meeting with Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
Boris Johnson, Britain’s former prime minister, has been referred to the police over a possible new breach of Covid lockdown rules, the UK government told CNN on Tuesday.
Documents dealing with the potential breach have been passed to London’s Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police, a government source told CNN, adding that “it’s now their business.”
Thames Valley Police confirmed they received the documents in a statement, saying they relate to “potential breaches” at Chequers, the incumbent British Prime Minister’s official country residence, “between June 2020 and May 2021”.
Britain’s Times newspaper, which first reported the story, said Johnson’s ministerial diary revealed visits by friends to Checkers during the pandemic.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said in a statement to CNN that information “has come to light for the first time” as evidence was being prepared by the Cabinet Office for submission to a Covid investigation. “This was identified as part of the normal disclosure review of potentially relevant documents undertaken by the legal team for witnesses in the investigation,” the spokesperson said.
Downing Street was made aware of this information after the relevant authorities were informed and is not involved in this process, the source said, adding that this material itself is not being investigated by the Cabinet Office. , but was simply handed over to the police. next protocol.
Johnson’s office called the allegations ‘bizarre and unacceptable’, British news agency PA Media reported on Tuesday, adding that Johnson’s lawyers have written to the police to ‘explain in detail why the Cabinet Office is totally wrong. in his assertions.
“Whatever the political purpose, it is clear that a last ditch attempt is underway to lengthen the Privileges Committee’s investigation as it comes to a close and to undermine Mr. Johnson,” the statement told PA. Media.
“The events in question were all within the rules, either because they took place outdoors or because they fell under another legal exception. They include regular meetings with officials and advisers,” the AP reported.
On Tuesday, the Covid-19 group Bereaved Families for Justice tweeted that Johnson was “totally unfit for any form of public service” and suggested he “quietly step down from public life.”
“These revelations make a mockery of Boris Johnson’s claims that he has not broken his own lockdown rules. He is completely unfit for any form of public service, let alone being Prime Minister,” the group said. in a twitter thread. those, he lied again when he said the rules weren’t broken in number 10, and he’s lied again and again since when he denied it,” he said. declared.
The Liberal Democrats called on Johnson to “consider his position as an MP” following the report.
Last year, Johnson was fined by police for lockdown-breaking parties held on UK government premises at the height of the pandemic. He later resigned as prime minister after he was plagued by a series of scandals ranging from accusations of flouting the rules to allegations of impropriety and abuse by Tory lawmakers.