Boris Johnson latest news: Former PM accused of breaking yet more rules over Daily Mail job

Privileges Committee finds Boris Johnson misled Parliament

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Boris Johnson has been accused of committing a “clear breach” of the rules for failing to follow protocol ahead of announcing his new columnist role at the Daily Mail.

The former prime minister was confirmed as the newspaper’s new “erudite” columnist on Friday, just days after quitting as an MP. Former ministers who have left the government in the last two years must apply to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) before taking up a new appointment or role outside government.

However, Acoba said Mr Johnson only informed them half an hour before the public announcement.

“An application received 30 mins before an appointment is announced is a clear breach,” a spokesperson said. “We have written to Mr Johnson for an explanation and will publish correspondence in due course, in line with our policy of transparency.”

Mr Johnson’s latest infraction in rules comes after a cross-party committee of MPs found he repeatedly lied to Parliament before being complicit in a campaign of abuse and intimidation.

Key Points

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Voices: If we really want to punish Boris Johnson, let’s kick the greased piglet out of the Tory party

If it is right to, in effect, kick Boris Johnson out of parliament for knowingly lying on at least eight separate occasions, why, one may ask, is it alright for him to be a member of the Conservative Party?

If he were still an MP, then there’d certainly be a case for removing the whip from him; and, now that he’s skipped that particular pen, our greased piglet is still snuffling around the sty.

He is, at the time of writing, a member of the Tory party, throwing his weight around, chucking ordure at Rishi Sunak, making trouble and getting his snout firmly in the trough to find a perpetual leadership campaign.

Martha Mchardy17 June 2023 14:00


The five lies that doomed Boris Johnson

The former prime minister had seen an early copy of the report, which concluded he had lied to MPs on an “unprecedented” scale. Had Mr Johnson stayed on as the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, he would have faced a 90-day suspension from parliament – more than enough to trigger a tough by-election in the constituency.

But, while just one instance of misleading the house would have been enough to land Mr Johnson a sanction, the committee concluded he had done so on five separate occasions.

Below are the five lies that led to Mr Johnson’s downfall.

  1. Insistent PM says ‘all guidance was followed
  2. PM denies party took place in Downing Street
  3. Johnson hits back at Starmer’s ‘lying’ accusations
  4. PM ‘corrects the record’
  5. Johnson was ‘disingenuous’ with MPs

Martha Mchardy17 June 2023 13:00


Revealed: Full extent of boozing, debauchery and blatant Covid rule-breaking inside Boris’s No 10

A former Downing Street official who worked throughout the Covid crisis has revealed:

  • Boris Johnson was aware of regular drinks parties during lockdown
  • The former PM oversaw a “toxic masculine culture” at Downing Street
  • No 10 staff were ill “all of the time” but were told “no point” wearing masks
  • Staff travelling with Johnson and Priti Patel were told to put on masks while going through train stations in case of cameras
  • “Panicking” staff started shredding material and deleting pictures after initial Partygate stories

Martha Mchardy17 June 2023 12:00


The 7 most damning findings from the report into Boris Johnson misleading parliament

A damning report by parliament’s privileges committee has concluded that Boris Johnson misled parliament and recommended that he should be barred from having a parliamentary security pass in future.

The 106 page document, put together by the cross-party group of MPs with a Tory majority, is packed with detail and arguments.

Click here to read about the seven most damning sections:

Martha Mchardy17 June 2023 11:00


Boris Johnson ‘considering running for London mayor’

Boris Johnson is said to be considering an audacious independent bid to become London mayor for a second time after his exit from parliament and dramatic fall from grace in the Tory party.

The former prime minister is weighing up his next move outside Westminster after his fate was sealed by a damning report that found he deliberately and repeatedly lied to the Commons over Partygate.

Mr Johnson has been revealed as the “erudite” new Saturday columnist at the Daily Mail, offering a veiled warning to Rishi Sunak that he “may have to cover politics from time to time”.

Adam Forrest and Archie Mitchell report:

Martha Mchardy17 June 2023 10:00


Knighthood for official accused of referring Boris Johnson to police

Alex Chisholm, the permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office, was knighted for public service in the King’s birthday honours list.

Martha Mchardy17 June 2023 09:00


Revealed: Full extent of boozing, debauchery and blatant Covid rule-breaking inside Boris’s No 10

A former Downing Street official who worked throughout the Covid crisis has revealed the true scale of the drunken debauchery under Boris Johnson – with No 10 parties so wild that staff passed out on the stairway.

They revealed that Mr Johnson was “happy” to have his staff drinking and oversaw a culture of endemic rule-breaking so widespread that it put No 10 at odds with the rest of the country.

Martha Mchardy17 June 2023 08:17


Boris breaks the rules again with ‘I’m fat’ column

Boris Johnson has committed another “clear breach” of the rules with a column in which he disclosed he has taken the controversial drug alleged to be behind some celebrities’ dramatic weight loss.

Kate Devlin has the details here:

Adam Withnall17 June 2023 06:22


UK was underprepared for pandemic because of focus on Brexit, report finds

Efforts to improve the UK’s ability to cope with a severe pandemic were paused for the government to focus on planning for the impacts of a no-deal Brexit, a Cabinet Office official has told the Covid inquiry.

Katharine Hammond, former director of the civil contingencies secretariat in the Cabinet Office, accepted that national lockdowns, the lengthy closure of schools and “total economic collapse” were not considered in planning for a pandemic event.

In October 2016, a cross-government exercise carried out to test the UK’s response to a serious influenza pandemic concluded that it was not prepared to “cope with the extreme demands of a severe pandemic”.

Ms Hammond agreed that the assessment “proved to be correct” and told the inquiry that the programme of work generated from the exercise was not completed before Covid-19 hit the UK because “elements” of it were paused to focus on “Operation Yellowhammer”.

“It was the cross-government planning effort for the impacts of a no-deal exit from the European Union,” she explained.

Ms Hammond cited the same operation as a reason for interfering with the work of the Pandemic Flu Readiness Board instituted in 2017 and with updating the Revision To Emergency Preparedness guidance issued in March 2012, which the witness said was not updated between then and 2020.

Questioned on the risk assessment for a pandemic, Ms Hammond conceded that several features of the coronavirus pandemic were not “anticipated or planned for” – including that there was no consideration of full national lockdowns.

She said there was discussion about schools being closed down but only on a “temporary” basis.

Hugo Keith KC, counsel to the inquiry, asked: “Was there any consideration, foresight or planning for total economic collapse, furlough scheme, for national support financially and for the closing of businesses and, in effect, the economy?”

Ms Hammond replied: “All of those things flow from the planning for a lockdown, so the answer follows no.”

She also admitted that risk assessments did not identify the need for personal protective equipment over such a long period of time and in such large quantities and that mass contact tracing, a lack of “antiviral” for coronavirus and the lack of a vaccine was not anticipated or planned for.

Rivka Gottlieb, spokesperson for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “The news that the Cabinet Office hadn’t done any preparations for lockdowns prior to the pandemic is absolutely horrific for families like mine.

“The risk of a pandemic was common knowledge but it’s clear that the government was caught completely unprepared.”

Adam Withnall17 June 2023 05:00


Boris and Trump might be gone – but unless we change our politics, we’ll get more malign leaders

It is no more than an accident of timing but the parallels are hard to avoid. Over the past week, two big political figures, one on either side of the Atlantic, have been bitterly denouncing the systems that once enabled their power and now want to eject them.

Both are furious, both are challenging the legitimacy of the processes used to evict them, both are speaking of a “witch hunt”. And in both cases, a political consensus has cheerfully danced on what is hoped will be their political graves.

In the UK, or at least in the so-called Westminster village, there was a palpable sense of vindication after the parliamentary privileges committee published its excoriating verdict on Boris Johnson. The committee found that the then prime minister had not just “deliberately misled the House” multiple times, but had impugned the committee and been “complicit” in its attempted intimidation. How could there be any possible way back for him from this?

Eleanor Noyce17 June 2023 04:00

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