Boris Johnson was “personally” briefed on an allegation of inappropriate habits in opposition to disgraced MP Chris Pincher in 2019, a former senior civil servant has claimed.
For the reason that deputy chief whip resigned from his put up final week following allegations of harassment by two males, Quantity 10 has mentioned the prime minister was unaware of the precise allegations.
However Lord McDonald, who was everlasting secretary on the Overseas Workplace between 2015 and 2020, has written to Parliament’s requirements commissioner saying Downing Road had made “incorrect claims”.
Former senior civil servant questions confession number 10 of what the Prime Minister knew about Chris Pincher | The last policy
Posting the letter on Twitter, he mentioned: “Wrote to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Requirements this morning – as a result of No 10 preserve altering their story and nonetheless not telling the reality.”
Within the letter, he wrote: “The unique line 10 will not be true and the edit remains to be not appropriate. Mr Johnson was
personally knowledgeable in regards to the initiation and final result of the investigation.
“There was a ‘formal criticism’. The allegations have been ‘resolved’ solely within the sense that the investigation was concluded; Mr. Pincher was not exonerated. To characterize the allegations as ‘unsubstantiated’ is due to this fact flawed.”
Shortly earlier than the letter was revealed, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab informed Sky Information’ Kay Burley that he knew in regards to the allegation when he was overseas secretary in 2019.
He mentioned he had “made it clear in no unsure phrases” to Mr Pincher that the habits “mustn’t ever occur once more”, and he referred him to each the civil service and the Cupboard Workplace for investigation.
Full textual content of the letter
5 days after Mr Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip, appreciable confusion stays about complaints about his habits earlier than the drunken incident he admitted to on the Carlton Membership on June 29.
Inaccurate claims from 10 Downing Road proceed to be repeated within the media. On July three, the BBC web site reported: “No official criticism in opposition to [Mr Pincher] have ever been made”.
This isn’t true. In the summertime of 2019, shortly after he was appointed Minister of State on the Overseas Workplace, a gaggle of officers complained to me about Mr Pincher’s behaviour. I’ve mentioned this matter with the related official within the cupboard workplace. (Primarily, the allegations have been just like these made in relation to his conduct at Carlton Cub.) An inquiry supported the criticism; Mr Pincher apologized and promised to not repeat the inappropriate behaviour. There was no recurrence on the FCO earlier than he left seven months later.
The identical BBC web site report continued: “Downing Road has mentioned Boris Johnson was unaware of any particular allegations when he appointed Mr Pincher deputy chief whip in February.” By July four, the BBC’s web site mirrored a change in line 10: “The Prime Minister’s official spokesman mentioned Mr Johnson was conscious of “allegations that had both been resolved or not progressed to a proper criticism”, including that “it was thought of inappropriate to terminate a gathering merely due to unfounded allegations”.
The unique line #10 will not be true and the edit remains to be not appropriate. Mr. Johnson was personally knowledgeable of the initiation and final result of the investigation. There was a “formal criticism”. The costs have been “resolved” solely within the sense that the investigation was accomplished; Mr. Pincher was not exonerated. Subsequently, calling the allegations “baseless” is flawed.
I’m conscious that it’s uncommon to jot down to you and publish the letter on the similar time. I’m conscious of the responsibility I’ve to the goal of an investigation, however I’m appearing outdoors my responsibility to the victims. Mr. Pincher deceived me and others in 2019. He can’t be allowed to make use of the confidentiality of proceedings three years in the past to pursue his predatory habits in different contexts.
However Mr Raab mentioned the investigations didn’t “lead to disciplinary motion” and he had solely informed the prime minister in regards to the incident “in latest days”.
The Deputy Prime Minister additionally described Mr Pincher as “an impressive minister” and mentioned it was proper to permit the unbiased inquiry to attract its personal conclusions.
Mr Pincher resigned as deputy head of government on Thursday following allegations that he drunkenly groped two males at a non-public members’ membership in London earlier that week.
The celebration whip was solely eliminated – leaving him sitting as an unbiased MP – on Friday afternoon after the prime minister bowed to stress and a proper criticism was made to the Impartial Parliamentary Complaints and Grievances Scheme (ICGS).
Various ministers have taken to the airwaves to reiterate No 10’s protection of Mr Johnson since then, together with schooling minister Will Quince, who mentioned he had been given “categorical assurances” that the prime minister was not conscious of any particular allegations. critical.
However on Monday, Sky Information revealed that the Prime Minister’s spouse, Carrie Johnson, also questioned Mr Pincher’s suitability as a government whip as early as 2017.
Labour’s worldwide commerce secretary, Emily Thornberry, mentioned Downing Road “tells us various things on completely different days… and over time, the reality begins to return out”.
She informed Sky Information that Mr Johnson had “turned a blind eye to any accusation as a result of it behooves the Prime Minister to show a blind eye to it”, including: “We’d like a rustic that’s led by an honest and honorable individual”.
Liberal Democrat deputy chief Daisy Cooper additionally mentioned Lord McDonald had “shine a brand new mild on this darkish cover-up”.
She added: “Boris Johnson must come clean with his internet of lies and eventually come clear immediately. Every single day this continues our politics is dragged additional by the mud.”