No 10 denies claim Boris Johnson lied to standards adviser over flat refurbishment – UK politics live

Michael Ellis, paymaster general in the Cabinet Office, is responding to the UQ on the inquiry into No 10 parties.

He repeats the point Boris Johnson made at PMQs yesterday when he said he was shocked by the No 10 Christmas party video.

The PM has been repeatedly assured that there was no party and no Covid rules were broken, he says.

But he says the government recognises the public anxiety and public indignation about this, in that it appears people setting the rules have not been following them.

He says the terms of reference of the investigation by Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, will be published today.

He says Case will investigate three gatherings: two at Downing Street, on 27 November and 18 December, and one at the Department for Education, on 10 December.

(This is an advance on yesterday, when No 10 implied at first that just the 18 December event would be investigated. But this also means several other parties, or party-type events, are not being investigated. See here, or the post at 9.28am.)

He says Case will investigate what happened at these gatherings, and whether disciplinary action is needed.

If evidence of a criminal offence emerges, it will be referred to the police, and the Cabinet Office inquiry will be paused.

He says all ministers, officials and special advisers will be expected to cooperate.

The findings will be published, he says.

But, in accordance with precedence, details any an disciplinary action relating to individuals will not be made public.


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