An investigation into Boris Johnson’s conduct during the pandemic has found that he may have misled Parliament over Partygate on four occasions.
A preliminary report from the privileges committee has pointed to strong evidence that breaches of coronavirus rules in place at the time would have been “obvious” to the prime minister.
Johnson has previously stated that there was no evidence he “knowingly” misled Parliament.
He is due to give evidence to the MPs later this month.
Previously unseen photos
The privileges committee published its initial report today, including some previously unseen photos of Downing Street parties.
The report says Johnson “did not correct” misleading statements he made in the Commons at the “earliest opportunity”, as would have been expected from an MP.
Johnson had “personal knowledge” about lockdown gatherings in No 10 which he could have disclosed to MPs, the committee said.
The report found “evidence strongly suggests that breaches of guidance would have been obvious to Mr Johnson at the time he was at the gatherings”.
It also said there was “evidence that those who were advising Johnson about what to say to the press and in the House were themselves struggling to contend that some gatherings were within the rules”.
The inquiry had been held up by a “reluctance” from Johnson’s government “to provide unredacted evidence”. Some material “had been redacted even though it was already in the public domain,” according to the report.
The unredacted disclosure of all relevant material was finally provided by Rishi Sunak’s government on 18 November.
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