Boris Johnson has been urged to correct his Partygate inquiry testimony after he was found to have claimed a No 10 party marked the exit of the top civil servant who did not resign until a month later.
Adam Forrest www.independent.co.uk (Extract)
The former Tory prime minister claimed the notorious “bring your own booze” garden party on 20 May 2020 had been aimed at motivating staff because cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill had quit.
But Mr Sedwill did not resign until 29 June 2020 – more than a month later – revealing he would step down from his top Downing Street role in September.
Claiming the drinks gathering was purely a work event, an angry Mr Johnson told MPs: “People who say we were partying in lockdown simply do not know what they are talking about.
“People who say that that event was a purely social gathering are quite wrong,” the ex-PM said of the garden event – at which Mr Johnson and were seen with staff drinking bottles of wine.
The former PM added: “My purpose there was to thank staff, was to motivate them in what had been a very difficult time – and what was also a very difficult day in which the cabinet secretary had just resigned.”
But Mr Johnson’s former top adviser Dominic Cummings said the “bring your own booze” garden party “had nothing to do with assuring staff after cabinet secretary resignation”.
Mr Cummings said MPs on the cross-party privileges committee would have to write to Mr Johnson “confirming that a resignation in June could not possibly have been his justification for holding an event in May”……