Johnson went to the police about further possible violations of the Covid rule

Boris Johnson has been referred to the police by the Cabinet Office over possible further breaches of coronavirus regulations during his tenure as UK Prime Minister.

Civil servants last week handed over information to the Metropolitan Police and Thames Valley Police that lawyers working for the government had uncovered about evidence to be submitted to a public inquiry into Covid-19.

The information includes entries from Johnson’s official diary showing visits to friends and family at Downing Street and Chequers, the country residence used by the UK prime minister, during the outbreak, The Times reports. was reported on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “The information came to light during the preparation of evidence to be submitted to the Covid investigation. It was identified as part of a routine disclosure review of potentially relevant documents by the legal team examining witnesses.

“In accordance with the obligations contained in the Civil Servant Code, this material has been transferred to the competent authorities and it now falls under their jurisdiction.”

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A government official said the decision to refer the materials to the police was made without ministerial input and No 10 was notified only after the move was made.

A spokesman for the former prime minister said: “Some abbreviated entries in Mr Johnson’s official diary have been questioned by [the] Cabinet Office during the preparation of the Covid investigation.

“Following an examination of the posts, Mr Johnson’s lawyers wrote to the Cabinet Office and the Privileges Committee explaining that the events were legal and did not breach Covid rules.”

The House of Commons Privileges Committee is investigating whether Johnson deliberately misled MPs about the Downing Street parties held during the coronavirus restrictions.

An ally of Johnson said the Cabinet Office referral was “clearly politically motivated” and that civil servants had not notified him of the matter, allowing him to respond before the information was passed to the police.

The ally added that Johnson had been “advised by lawyers that these events were legal and in no way violated the restrictions” and that he had not been approached by the police.

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Johnson’s final year as prime minister has been largely defined by revelations about parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall during Covid restrictions.

Following the Met investigation, which ended in May 2022, 83 people were fined 126.

Johnson became the first prime minister to be found guilty of a crime in office after attending a Downing Street birthday party in June 2020 that was found to have breached coronavirus rules.

In April 2022, Johnson, his wife Carrie and then-Chancellor Rishi Sun were fined for attending the party.

The Met said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “currently assessing” information received from the Cabinet Office on May 19 “relating to possible breaches of health regulations at Downing Street between June 2020 and May 2021”.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police was quoted by The Times as saying: “On Thursday we received a report of possible breaches of health regulations between June 2020 and May 2021 at Checkers in Buckinghamshire. We are currently evaluating this information.”

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On Tuesday, the Liberal Democrats called on Johnson to stand down as the Conservative MP for Uxbridge.

“The fact that it’s a rule for them and a rule for everyone else still leaves millions of people with a raw sense of injustice,” said Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper. “Johnson should finally do the honest thing and consider his position as an MP.”