Boris Johnson’s ex chief adviser has claimed photographs of lockdown gatherings will emerge that prove the prime minister “obviously lied to the Commons”.
Cummings, who was pushed out of No 10 in December 2020, wrote on his Substack blog earlier today: “I expect photos of the PM will emerge very quickly, within the next 24-48 hours.
“Any reasonable person looking at some of these photos will only be able to conclude that the PM obviously lied to the Commons, and possibly to the cops, and there is no reasonable story for how others were fined for event X but not him.”
Cummings also claims that the PM avoided further fines after as police failed to investigate his presence at certain events.
He complained that junior staff members were fined for attending events that the PM was not fined for, stating: “This process for checking lawfulness was particularly crucial in No10 because No10 itself was exempted from some regulations (e.g so it could be part of the mass testing pilot) so staff did not know exactly what rules applied internally from day to day. They weren’t told ‘it’s your job to keep tabs on all the rule changes’, they were told ‘the PPS has a process to ensure everything is lawful’. Obviously you knew *an actual party* (such as clearly happened in 2021) would be against the rules but many of the fines were for events that junior staff thought were a normal part of work and had been approved as lawful. Such officials’ view, reasonably, is: we were told X is lawful but now it turns out Martin [Reynolds, the PM’s principal private secretary] didn’t do his job and it wasn’t and we’re being fined, but if we’re being fined, how come the PM who was there and appointed Martin, and unlike us was told BYOB was NOT within the rules, isn’t fined?!’”
Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak received fixed penalty notices last month over a gathering in the Cabinet room in which the former was allegedly presented with a birthday cake.
Cummings claims a second birthday event was held, writing: “Some people told the police (but not Sue Gray, because they did not want the PM to read their evidence) that they had evidence regarding the organisation of illegal events from the flat. E.g apart from the ‘cake ambush’ there was a separate birthday party, uncovered by the media so far I think, that evening (which almost nobody knew about at the time, including me). There is a paper trail including WhatsApps from the flat. Sounds very bad for Boris/Carrie right? Surely that must be investigated? No! The police simply ignored it. Simple! PM cleared!”
The publication of Sue Gray’s full report into lockdown gatherings at Downing Street and Whitehall is expected imminently.
Last week Scotland Yard said they had concluded their criminal investigation into the alleged events, with 126 fines issued in total.