By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 25 February 2022 • 13:42
Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The Met Police have confirmed that more than 50 people have been sent the “Partygate” questionnaire including the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has denied that he broke lockdown rules. However his receipt of the questionnaire would suggest that amongst the more than 500 documents and 300 images, there is evidence that he many have done so.
In a report by Sky News Scotland Yard again reminded recipients that the questionnaire has formal legal status and must be answered truthfully, with respondents being required account for their presence and to give an explanation of their participation. The questionnaires have to be returned within seven days.
Sunak when asked earlier this month whether he expected to receive a questionnaire told Sky News: “No… well, I don’t know.”
The questionnaires will be sifted through along with all the documents and images provided by the Cabinet following senior civil servant Sue Gray’s own inquiry into the “Partygate” allegations.
Ms Gray has already concluded there were failures of leadership in Number `10 and that “some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify.”
Sunak has admitted he attended what is reported to have been a birthday party for Johnson in June 2020, during the UK’s first national lockdown. However he went on to say that he was in the Cabinet Room for a routine coronavirus meeting.
He told the BBC: “I went to that Cabinet Room, as I did many other times for COVID meetings, and it’s right, that we allow this police investigation.”
When asked whether he was aware of the parties, the chancellor who lives and works in Downing Street at Number 11 said: “People seem to think that I’m spending all my time there staring out of this window behind me…
“[But] I spent half my time in the Treasury, as well as working here.”
The fact that Sunak receives a questionnaire will raise further questions about what he did know and what he was party to, including what rules he may have broken.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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