I didn’t mislead MPs – Former prime minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has said he believes an update from the privileges committee “totally vindicates me”, despite the cross-party group of MPs finding there is evidence he may have misled the Commons about gatherings in Downing Street during the pandemic.

The former prime minister insisted that an interim report published by the committee on Friday contained “absolutely no evidence” to suggest he believed there had been rule-breaking happening in No 10.
The committee has published extracts from a series of WhatsApp messages it has received as part of its inquiry.

In one from 28 April 2021, seven months before press reports about parties first appeared, an unnamed No 10 official noted that another official was “worried about leaks of PM having a piss up and to be fair I don’t think it’s unwarranted”.

In another, from 25 January 2022, Mr Johnson’s then director of communications, Jack Doyle, told a No 10 official he hadn’t “heard any explanation” of how a birthday party for the former PM in the Cabinet Room in June 2020 was within the rules.

In a separate WhatsApp exchange the same day, an official messaged Mr Doyle, saying: “I’m trying to do some Q&A [briefing for officials dealing with the media queries], it’s not going well”.

Mr Doyle replied: “I’m struggling to come up with a way this one is in the rules in my head”, adding: “PM was eating his lunch of course”. The official responded: “I meant for the police bit but yeah as ridiculous as the cake thing is it is difficult”.

The official then suggested they could argue it was “reasonably necessary for work purposes”. Mr Doyle replied: “Not sure that one works does it. Also blows another great gaping hole in the PM’s account doesn’t it.

Source: BBC

In other news – Yellow warnings as snow and ice expected in Scotland and north England

Arctic air is expected to bring snow, cold winds and icy conditions to parts of the UK this coming week. A Met Office yellow warning has been issued for parts of north-east Scotland and England for today and Tuesday.

Met Office meteorologist

Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said up to 20cm (8in) of snow could fall on high ground, with up to 10cm possible in low-lying regions. Learn more

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