Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been referred to police by the PM’s Cabinet Office over new claims that he broke lockdown rules during the Covid-19 pandemic, British media reported Tuesday.
The referral came after Johnson’s ministerial diary revealed visits by friends to Chequers—the country house of the British Prime Minister—during the lockdown.
Both the Metropolitan Police, which covers the greater London area though not the city itself, and the Thames Valley Police were informed.
Johnson is believed to have written to the Cabinet Office in the past week denying he broke pandemic-era rules.
“Some abbreviated entries in Mr. Johnson’s official diary were queried by Cabinet Office during preparation for the Covid Inquiry,” a Johnson spokesperson said. “Following an examination of the entries, Mr. Johnson’s lawyers wrote to the Cabinet Office and Privileges Committee explaining that the events were lawful and were not breaches of any Covid Regulations.”
Though a source close to Johnson asserted that the claims were “clearly politically motivated,” the Cabinet Office said it made the referral “in line with the obligations in the Civil Service Code.”
In April 2020, then-Prime Minister Johnson was treated in intensive care for Covid-19.
Johnson was forced to resign as Prime Minister by nearly 60 members of his government in the summer of 2022 after a historic party revolt over a series of ethics scandals. Among them, he faced a barrage of criticism over Covid-19 lockdown-breaking parties thrown in his Downing Street offices, for which he and others were fined.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police this week said the concerns were passed to them on May 19 and that they relate “to potential breaches of the Health Protection Regulations between June 2020 and May 2021 at Downing Street.”