Labour, Lib Dems Warn BoJo Not 'to Cover Up Any of the Truth' on No 10 Parties

© AFP 2023 / ADRIAN DENNISBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a press conference for the latest Covid-19 update in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on December 8, 2021
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a press conference for the latest Covid-19 update in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on December 8, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.01.2022
Last week, many Conservative Party lawmakers said they were awaiting the publication of senior civil servant Sue Gray's probe into lockdown-breaking parties at No 10 to decide on their support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson who may face a no-confidence vote amid the "partygate" scandal.
The UK Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure all evidence regarding No 10 COVID rule-breaking parties is published with the Sue Gray investigation, amid reports that the senior civil servant's probe may amount to a concise summary of findings.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner stressed that a greater degree of transparency is needed around the parties, which has already caused widespread public outcry.

"Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to cover up or obscure any of the truth when he has insisted on a hugely protracted internal probe to tell him which parties he attended and what happened in his own home. The Sue Gray report must be published in its entirety with all accompanying evidence", Rayner told reporters.

She argued that government-related transparency has been disrupted under Prime Minister Johnson, claiming that "the Conservatives have shown us how little respect they have for the [COVID lockdown] rules".
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson eats a portion of pie aboard the Conservative Party campaign bus after a visit to the Red Olive catering company in Derby, central England Wednesday Dec. 11, 2019.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.01.2022
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Rayner was echoed by Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, who emphasised that "trust is at an all-time low, so this report must be open to scrutiny from all those who've lost loved ones and all those who stuck to the rules".

"Aside from personnel and employment issues, Boris Johnson owes it to parliament, and above all to the people, to publish this report and the transcripts in full. Anything else will be seen as the usual lies and bending of the rules", he added.

Davey spoke amid claims that Gray's report, due to be released next week, will not contain accompanying evidence, including emails, text messages, and transcripts of interviews, as well as the precise details pertaining to the alleged Downing Street social gatherings held in 2020 and 2021. Johnson's spokesperson, in turn, insisted that the inquiry is "being run independently by a civil servant who's been asked to establish the facts".
The Guardian quoted unnamed sources as claiming that Gray would hand the report to No 10 and that the PM would get an advance look at the document before he makes it available to the public and parliament.

Senior Tory MP to Meet Police to Discuss 'Whip Intimidation' Claims

The sources' claims come in the wake of UK media reports that those Tory lawmakers who want to force Johnson out of office amid the "partygate" scandal, plan to publish messages from government whips to prove they blackmailed and intimidated the MPs. An unnamed source was cited by The Times as saying that the so-called "Pork Pie plotters" "were comparing notes and discussing whether or not to make public texts and other evidence they have from the whips".
A group of about 20 individuals were named "Pork Pie plotters" after they reportedly met in the office of Alice Kearns MP for Melton Mowbray, also known as the home of pork pie making. They ostensibly plan to oust Johnson by submitting enough no-confidence letters to the 1922 Committee so as to trigger a leadership challenge.

Senior Conservative lawmaker William Wragg, who earlier accused government whips of blackmail against colleagues contemplating votes of no confidence in Johnson, has, meanwhile, told The Telegraph that he would meet with police to deal with the accusations.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street 10 to meet with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, in London, Britain December 16, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.01.2022
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Wragg, chair of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said that he had agreed to meet with a Metropolitan Police detective in the House of Commons "early next week" to briefly discuss "several" examples of alleged bullying and intimidation.

"I stand by what I have said. No amount of gaslighting will change that", he added, while a Scotland Yard spokesperson told The Independent that "as with any such allegations, should a criminal offence be reported to the Met, it would be considered".

Johnson, for his part, argued that he had seen "no evidence" to support any of those claims, adding: "What I am focused on is what we're doing to deal with the number one priority of the British people, which is coming through COVID".
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