Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson contemplates legal retaliation against the Cabinet Office for sharing diary entries with police sans his knowledge
Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is reported to be considering legal action against the UK Government. This follows the government’s decision to share entries from his prime ministerial diaries with law enforcement agencies without notifying him first.
The Cabinet Office, without Johnson’s knowledge, forwarded his diary excerpts, allegedly showing colleagues and friends visiting him at Chequers during the pandemic lockdown, to two police constabularies.
This development is part of an ongoing investigation by the Commons privileges committee, examining possible violations of lockdown regulations by Johnson during his tenure as Prime Minister.
“It appears the Cabinet Office has written to the privileges committee claiming that these events constitute lockdown breaches. That is not true and it is seriously defamatory,” a source close to Johnson revealed to the Daily Mail.
A close ally of Johnson strongly denied these allegations, saying the former Prime Minister had sought legal advice, which found none of the events to have violated Covid rules.
Questions are emerging about the role of current Deputy Prime Minister, Oliver Dowden, in this development, with some suggesting political motivations. These suspicions, however, are dismissed by officials close to Dowden.
“Ministers were not involved in this chain of events that led to this information being passed to the police at all,” a Cabinet Office source stated emphatically.
The decision to share diary entries with law enforcement was reportedly made without the involvement of ministers or Cabinet Secretary Simon Case. Despite the turmoil, Johnson’s allies maintain their stance, expressing belief that the issue will soon collapse.
The former Prime Minister and his legal team were not informed about the diary entries before they were forwarded to the police last week. The disclosure occurred when Johnson’s lawyers, conducting a review, became concerned about details of lockdown visitors to Chequers and felt compelled to share the information with Cabinet Office officials.
“The assertion by the Cabinet Office that there have been further Covid rule breaches is totally untrue. Lawyers have examined the events in question and advised that they were lawful,” a spokesman for Johnson stated.
Insiders close to Johnson argue that this move is a political ploy, intended to prolong the committee investigation as it nears conclusion and to further undermine Johnson’s reputation. Mr Johnson’s legal team has reportedly written to the involved police forces explaining why the Cabinet Office is incorrect in its assertions.
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All of this could have been avoided if, the virus had been allowed to run its course as with previous viruses, none of the restrictions should have been implemented, they only succeeded in causing complications.