Boris Johnson has admitted that he “misled” the House of Commons over Partygate, however he insists his statements were “in good faith.”
The former Prime Minister accused the privileges committee of having gone “significantly beyond its terms of reference” and insisted it was “unprecedented and absurd” for them to claim that relying on what “trusted advisers” said was “in some way reckless.”
After Sue Gray’s Partygate reports the committee started their investigation following accusations of a “failure of leadership and judgement” amid the lockdown parties, which saw members of the public being fined thousands.
The committee gave a damning indictment of culture which did exist at the heart of government at the time as they failed to follow their own rules when millions were ordered and in some instanced were forced to follow the guidelines.
Johnson said, he accepts the House of Commons “was misled by my statements that the rules and guidance had been followed completely at No 10.”
“But when the statements were made, they were made in good faith and on the basis of what I honestly knew and believed at the time,” he added.
Johnson admitted that his statement to parliament at the time “did not turn out to be correct.”
Johnson added, “There is no evidence at all that supports an allegation that I intentionally or recklessly misled the House.
“There is not a single document that indicates that I received any warning or advice that any event broke or may have broken the rules or guidance.”
He added that the committee “appears to be mounting a case that, despite the absence of any evidence of warnings or advice, it should have been ‘obvious’ to me that the Rules and Guidance were not being followed, because of the gatherings that I attended.
“It is important to be frank: this amounts to an allegation that I deliberately lied to parliament.”
He then said that the allegation also extends to “many other” who also attended the same events.
He wrote, “I did not intentionally or recklessly mislead the House on December 1 2021, December 8 2021, or on any other date. I would never have dreamed of doing so.”
However the committee published their interim report earlier this month saying the evidence they have “strongly suggests” it must have been “obvious” to the former Prime Minister the Covid rules were being breached at No 10.