Partygate accuser Sir Bernard Jenkin is a coward, say Boris alliesJune 25, 2023
As the MP stays silent on his own ‘lockdown-busting’… Partygate accuser Sir Bernard Jenkin is a coward, say Boris allies
- Sir Bernard Jenkin was blasted by loyalists of ex-prime minister Boris Johnson
- Mr Johnson called for Sir Bernard’s resignation from the Privileges Committee
Boris Johnson’s Partygate interrogator was accused of cowardice last night for repeatedly dodging questions over claims he attended a lockdown-busting party.
Sir Bernard Jenkin was blasted by loyalists of the former prime minister for refusing to come clean over his alleged participation in a ‘birthday drinks’ bash for his wife Anne, a Tory peer, on December 8, 2020.
The event, held in the Commons office of Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing, took place at a time when all indoor socialising was against Covid regulations in England. But Sir Bernard, one of Mr Johnson’s chief inquisitors on the Privileges Committee, which effectively ended his Commons career, was yesterday still maintaining his silence – a week after The Mail on Sunday published his wife’s invitation and a claim that he was present for whole party.
Last night, one senior Tory MP and Boris backer said: ‘It is unacceptable for someone who sat in judgment on the PM over Partygate to keep silent over claims he himself attended an event which breached lockdown rules.
Sir Bernard Jenkin (right) was blasted for refusing to come clean over his alleged participation in a ‘birthday drinks’ bash for his wife Anne (right), a Tory peer, on December 8, 2020
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves his house for a run in Brightwell-cum-Stowell, west of London, June 14, 2023
‘He should come clean about this. To try to keep silent is not just hypocritical – it’s cowardice.’
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Mr Johnson has called for Sir Bernard’s resignation from the Privileges Committee, claiming he could be guilty of ‘flagrant and monstrous hypocrisy’.
Sir Bernard has refused requests to comment since his initial response 11 days ago that he did not attend any drinks parties during lockdown, with allies claiming that the December 8 function was simply a work event.
However, the publication in this newspaper last Sunday of Baroness Jenkin’s invitation for ‘a few of our favourite people’ to attend birthday drinks appeared to dismantle that claim, even though she insisted it would be ‘socially distanced’.
Dame Eleanor has also declined to comment after initially telling the Guido Fawkes website that she had held a ‘business meeting’ that evening and was strict about social distancing.
Two other Tory MPs said to have been present – former Cabinet minister Maria Miller and backbencher Miriam Cates – have not commented so far.
However, Commons insiders say it is inevitable the December 8 party will be investigated either by the police or the Commons’ Standards Commissioner.
Scotland Yard has said that it was assessing information regarding ‘media reporting of alleged breaches in Parliament on December 8, 2020’.
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