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"Partygate" scandal/ Boris Johnson reveals the truth, admits that he lied to the British Parliament: The statements were unintentional, I believed...
Written by SOT.COM.AL 21 Mars 2023
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that he lied to Parliament about the "Partygate" scandal, but insisted that his statements were unintentional.
Johnson accused the Privileges Committee of overreaching its inquiry into whether he knowingly lied to MPs.
In his written evidence to the commission, Johnson said it was "unprecedented and absurd" to claim that support from "trusted advisers" was "in some way reckless".
But the committee hit back with a scathing statement, which said the submission contained "no new evidence" in its defence, and an earlier version had to be resubmitted due to "clerical errors".
The committee launched its inquiry in the wake of Sue Gray's party report, which faulted the leadership during the COVID pandemic.
The report criticized the culture that existed "at the heart of government" at a time when the rest of the country was ordered to follow strict social distancing guidelines.
Johnson said he accepts that the House of Commons "was misled by my statements that the rules and guidelines were fully followed in Number 10" .
"But when the statements were made, they were made without intention and based on what I honestly knew and believed at the time ," he added.
Johnson admitted in his evidence that his statements in parliament "did not turn out to be correct", but insisted he corrected the data at the "earliest opportunity".
"I did not intentionally or recklessly mislead the House on December 1, 2021, December 8, 2021, or on any other date," he said.
Members of the COVID-19 group Bereaved Families for Justice called his defense "disgusting" and called for him to resign as an MP.
Becky Kummer, a spokeswoman for the group, said it was "clear" the former prime minister was "deliberately misleading parliament", adding:
"Far worse are the lies he deliberately told families like mine as he failed to protect our loved ones, the claim that he did so in 'good faith' is despicable."
The 52-page defense file was released a day before Johnson faces a direct attack from the cross-party group of MPs at a hearing that could decide his political fate.
In response to his evidence, the committee said Johnson's legal argument "does not contain new documentary evidence" and that it had to be submitted on Tuesday because of "a number of clerical errors".
If Johnson fails to convince the committee that he did not deliberately mislead Parliament, he could be found in contempt of parliament.