Prime Minister is required to complete a police questionnaire as part of an investigation into alleged breaches of lockdown rules
Boris Johnson has become the first British prime minister to be questioned on police bail, according to a leaked version of Scotland Yard’s Partygate questionnaire reported by ITV on Tuesday.
As part of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into allegations of parties breaking the lockdown in Downing Street, Johnson and anyone suspected of attending were required to complete a questionnaire. Scotland Yard’s list of questions asks them to provide a “reasonable excuse” for attending the gatherings.
At the start of the questionnaire, the document informs recipients that they are providing a “written statement on bail” before saying that “You don’t have to say anything, but it can hurt your defense if you don’t mention something in questioning that you will rely on later in court.”
The police investigation covers twelve events, six of which are believed to have been attended by Johnson, which took place in breach of lockdown rules imposed by the UK government in response to the Covid pandemic.
Among the questions that would be included in the document, recipients are asked if they attended an event and, if so, if they were “legal exception” in doing so, and are asked to confirm the purpose of their participation and whether they interacted with anyone else present.
Responding to the reports, deputy leader of the opposition Labor Party, Angela Rayner, said he was “a national embarrassment that Boris Johnson is now the first prime minister in British history to be questioned under police caution.”
Downing Street did not say whether Johnson was questioned on bail, saying only that “We have confirmed that the Prime Minister has been contacted by the Metropolitan Police.”
The reports on the questionnaire come as Downing Street has denied that taxpayers’ money was spent on food and drink consumed at the events under police investigation.
In response to a written question from Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney, Cabinet Secretary Michael Ellis said “no” when asked if “there was a cost to the public purse because of the spending collections under investigation.”
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