Boris Johnson has insisted new claims he broke lockdown rules are “complete nonsense” and that items from his ministerial diary were “picked and handed to the police”.
The former prime minister confronted Sky News about the allegations as he passed through Dulles International Airport in Washington after a brief tour of the United States.
Asked if he broke the rules, he told Sky’s US correspondent James Matthews: “This is all a load of nonsense from start to finish.
“I think it’s ridiculous that items in my diary should be picked out and given to the police, to the privilege committee without anyone having the basic common sense to ask me what these entries are about.”
Mr Johnson was referred to police by the Cabinet Office on Wednesday over events at Checkers and Downing Street following a review of his official diary as part of the official investigation into COVID.
Pressed on whether the entries showed him “mingling with friends”, Johnson insisted that is “absolutely not what these diary entries show”.
He said: “I just think it’s totally absurd and outlandish that there are tens of thousands of entries in the Prime Minister’s diary. I’ve never seen this before.
“I’ve looked into it. None of them constitute a breach of the rules during COVID, they weren’t during lockdown.
“They were during other periods of the restrictions. None of them constitute a breach of the rules. None of them involve socialization. It’s total nonsense.”
Johnson has said it before believes he is the victim of a “politically motivated” and abandoned government-appointed lawyers representing him at the public inquiry into COVID-19 following his police referral.
He wasn’t drawn to who was “stitching it up,” but said, “Someone somewhere thinks it’s reasonable to do this. I don’t.”
However, a Labor source said: “If Boris Johnson is confident that he has acted with propriety, then he has nothing to fear from scrutiny.”
Johnson has already been fined by the Met Police for breaching the lockdown rules and is currently being fined investigated by the privilege committee about whether he lied to parliament about his repeated denials at the party door.
On Friday night, the committee confirmed it had received new evidence from the government and had written to Mr Johnson for a response.
A spokesman said: “The committee will take this evidence and Mr Johnson’s response into account when it considers its final report. The committee is moving forward with its inquiry quickly.”
The latest developments have once again brought attention back to the party gate controversy, which played a major role in the former prime minister’s downfall.
He was in the United States on Wednesday when the news broke and during his tour he met with former President Donald Trump.
Johnson met with Trump to ‘talk about Ukraine’
Earlier on Friday, Johnson’s spokesman said the purpose of this was to “discuss the situation in Ukraine and the vital importance of Ukraine’s victory”.
It is not clear where the meeting took place, but during his visit to the United States, Johnson made a stop in both Texas and Las Vegas.
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The two leaders have known each other for many years and worked together when Trump was president of the United States and Johnson was in charge in Downing Street.
Mr Trump has spoken highly of Mr Johnson and earlier this month called him a “wonderful man” and “a friend of mine”.
The two have previously aligned on political issues, such as Brexit, but have also diverged in recent years, most notably over Ukraine.
Johnson was still prime minister when Russia invaded its southern neighbor last February and was a leader in helping to rally international support for the Ukrainian people and its military.
Meanwhile, Trump, who has touted his “very good relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has a bit of a checkered history involving Ukraine, dating back to before Moscow invaded last year.
In September 2019, reports emerged had asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate then former Vice President Joe Biden, who was expected to run against him in the 2020 presidential election.
That phone call led to Trump’s first impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but he was not convicted after a Senate trial.
Earlier this month, in a town hall conversation broadcast as part of his 2024 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump, who is running for re-election as a Republican, declined to say who he thinks should prevail and said he would end the war in just 24 years. hours.
He said, “I want everybody to stop dying. They’re dying. Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying. And I’m going to do it in 24 hours.”