Cabinet Secretary Simon Case will probe several alleged events in the run-up to last Christmas
An inquiry into Downing Street parties will be broadened to look at another alleged event in November attended by Boris Johnson.
Tory Minister Michael Ellis told MPs that the probe will
“establish the facts around”
events claimed to have taken place in Downing Street on November 27 and December 18.
It will as well look at an assembly at the Department for Education on December 10.
All the three events – which sources stated took place in spite of Covid limitations – were first disclosed by the Mirror.
The Prime Minister eventually expressed regret for on Wednesday following the emergence of a clip of his own staff joking concerning a “not socially distanced” bash on December 18 last year.
He declared a investigation into the event by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case – still his spokesman firmly established that queries will only cover the events of December 18 last year.
Nonetheless Mr Ellis stated on Thursday that it would cover assertion of a second No10 event on November 27 – in the course of a national lock-down – where sources alleged Mr Johnson addressed a send forth party.
Susan Acland-Hood, the DfE’s top civil servant said yesterday that she had mentioned their event on December 10 to the Cabinet Secretary.
The Paymaster General told MPs: “The primary purpose of the Cabinet Secretary’s investigation will be to establish swiftly a general understanding of the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, the setting and the purpose, and with reference to adherence to the guidance in place at the time.
“If required, the investigation will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted.”
He said any likely criminal behavior will be forwarded to the police and the Cabinet Office would cooperate with them as suitable.
“All ministers, special advisers and civil servants will be expected to cooperate with this investigation,” he said.
It marks a move from Wednesday, during the time the PM said he had requested the Cabinet Secretary to look at claims relating to December 18, rather than at any other dates.
“As far as I’m concerned, all the evidence I can see is that people in this building have stayed within the rules.
“If that turns out not to be the case, and people wish to bring allegations to my attention or to the police or whoever, then of course there will be proper sanctions.”
Pressed by the Mirror at a No 10 press conference higher than if Mr Case would broaden the inquiry, he added:
“He may wish to look at other things but that is a matter, frankly, for him.”