Met police investigation is a 'godsend' for Boris Johnson, says criminal barrister

25 January 2022, 23:46

Partygate: Chris Daw QC speaks to LBC's Iain Dale

By Emma Soteriou

The decision by the Metropolitan Police to investigate allegations of Covid rule-breaking at No10 is a 'godsend' for Boris Johnson, a criminal barrister has told LBC.

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It comes after the Met dropped a bombshell on Tuesday morning, announcing that they would investigate allegations of Covid rule-breaking at No10, despite previously insisting there was not enough evidence.

Meanwhile, a report on a separate investigation into the allegations - led by senior civil servant Sue Gray - is set to be released as early as Wednesday.

Speaking to Iain Dale, Chris Daw QC said: "Once you bring the police in, the police have to satisfy themselves with the integrity of the investigation and the evidence.

"They can't simply take a file from Sue Gray and say simply well that'll do us because the police have their own rules, regulations and procedures as to how they gather evidence which don't apply to Sue Gray.

"This is why it's a great godsend to Boris Johnson because this over-complicates what should be a very simple situation.

"There will be people who say 'well I believed it was a work function and I was justified in attending' so they will have to unravel all of those explanations and excuses that people have come out with during this investigation."

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Mr Daw added: "What Johnson and his supporters are trying to do is divert attention completely from this appalling story of blazing hypocrisy.

"We had Boris Johnson on the platform, telling us to our faces through the camera lens every single day, 'follow these rules, do what we say' and then he goes home to his four-storey house and he can't see out of the window that there's a party of 100 people drinking alcohol in his own garden.

"Come off it. This is ridiculous."

He went on to say: "Forget about the Metropolitan Police, forget the stupid £200 fines, let's see Parliament and Conservative MPs stand up for what's right when they read Sue Gray's report."

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"Do you think we'll be able to read the full report?" Iain asked.

"I think there will be utter outrage if there was any attempt to restrict the scope of publication," Mr Daw said.

"I can tell you now - as a QC and a practicing lawyer of almost 30 years - there is no legal reason why all of this report and everything in it cannot be published in full.

"So if we hear some nonsense from the Government about 'well, the police are investigating now so it's all very sensitive and we need to wait for the police...'"

He explained: "Frankly, there's no reason they can't and your listeners - and every member of the public who was sitting at home dutifully abiding by Boris Johnson's regulations - are entitled to know what was going on on his watch."

The Government has been contacted for comment.