LONDON—Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been referred to the police by the government’s Cabinet Office following new allegations of lockdown violations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The concerns pertain to potential events held at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country residence, between May 2020 and 2021. Officials reviewing Johnson’s ministerial diary in preparation for the COVID public inquiry have raised doubts about whether these events breached COVID regulations at the time.

On Tuesday evening, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that they have received information from the Cabinet Office regarding this matter. In response, a spokesperson for Boris Johnson stated that, after reviewing the entries with Johnson’s lawyers, they wrote to the Cabinet Office affirming the lawfulness of the events and denying any breaches. The spokesperson also emphasized that Johnson has not been contacted by the police and suggested that these allegations are politically motivated.

The involvement of the Cabinet Office and the police stems from the fact that the government is funding legal representation for Boris Johnson in the COVID inquiry. Johnson granted access to his diaries to the Cabinet Office lawyers to support his side of the story during the forthcoming inquiry. However, concerns arose among the lawyers about the details of visitors to Chequers between 2020 and 2021, leading them to pass this information to the Cabinet Office, which subsequently forwarded it to the police. Both the Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police are currently evaluating the information provided. Johnson’s team maintains that this does not constitute an active investigation and asserts that the events were lawful, dismissing the entire situation as politically motivated.

It is worth noting that Boris Johnson was among the 83 individuals who were fined for breaching COVID regulations in Downing Street during the lockdown, regulations that he himself introduced.

At the time, Johnson assured Parliament that no rules had been violated. However, he is currently under investigation by the Privileges Committee to determine whether he intentionally misled Parliament. Once again, Johnson maintains that no rules were broken.


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