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Boris Johnson Alamy Stock Photo
Not again

Latest claims of Covid breaches 'load of absolute nonsense', Boris Johnson says

It was alleged that the former British prime minister’s friends visited Chequers despite restrictions.

BORIS JOHNSON HAS branded suggestions he may have taken part in further rule-breaking during the pandemic as a “load of absolute nonsense”.

It comes after Britain’s Cabinet Office reported to police that Johnson breached his own government’s Covid-19 restrictions more than once.

Information was passed to two forces over alleged visits from the former British prime minister’s friends to Chequers country estate as well as potential breaches within Downing Street, The Times reported.

Asked by Sky News at Dulles Airport in Washington whether he broke the law at Chequers and Downing Street, he said: “No… The answer is as I said before there was absolutely no rule-breaking. Those who want to make allegations should make allegations, but so far nobody has.

“You want my honest view, I think this whole thing is completely nonsensical… This whole thing is a load of absolute nonsense. I think it was absurd that it was decided to pass entries in my diary to the police.”

London’s Metropolitan Police said it was “currently assessing” details it had received relating to incidents between June 2020 and May 2021.

A spokesman for Johnson said: “Some abbreviated entries in Mr Johnson’s official diary were queried by Cabinet Office during preparation for the Covid inquiry.

“Following an examination of the entries, Mr Johnson’s lawyers wrote to the Cabinet Office and Privileges Committee explaining that the events were lawful and were not breaches of any Covid regulations.”

It was also suggested the move was “politically motivated” and the former prime minister had been given no notice of the report.

The UK Cabinet Office said: “Information came to light during the process of preparing evidence for submission to the Covid inquiry.

“It was identified as part of the normal disclosure review of potentially relevant documents being undertaken by the legal team for inquiry witnesses.

“In line with obligations in the Civil Service Code, this material has been passed to the relevant authorities and it is now a matter for them.”

The Metropolitan Police said: “We are in receipt of information from the Cabinet Office passed to us on 19 May 2023, which we are currently assessing. It relates to potential breaches of the health protection regulations between June 2020 and May 2021 at Downing Street.”

In a statement given to The Times, Thames Valley Police also confirmed they were looking into a report of potential breaches of the rules at Chequers.

The Liberal Democrats called on Boris Johnson to “consider his position as an MP” following the report.

“It’s outrageous that rumours of alleged rule-breaking by Boris Johnson are still being drip-fed to the public,” deputy leader Daisy Cooper said.

“The fact that it’s one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us still triggers a raw sense of injustice in millions of people.

“Sunak must make sure that not a single penny more of taxpayer money is spent on Johnson’s legal fund; and Johnson should finally do one decent thing and consider his position as an MP.”

Lindsay Jackson, spokeswoman for the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, branded Johnson “totally unfit for any form of public service” and suggested he “quietly step back from public life”.

Jackson said: “These revelations make a grim mockery of Boris Johnson’s claims that he didn’t break his own lockdown rules. He lied when he said to our faces that he’d done ‘all he could’ to protect our loved ones, he lied again when he said the rules hadn’t been broken in No 10, and he’s lied over and over again since then when he’s denied it.

“He is totally unfit for any form of public service, never mind being the prime minister. His legacy is one of lying, complete contempt for the ordinary people he was supposed to protect, and above all presiding over the deaths of nearly 200,000 people.”

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