Tory peer: There was 'no prohibition' on parties during Covid lockdown

30 May 2022, 20:42 | Updated: 31 May 2022, 11:02

By Seán Hickey

Boris Johnson's former advisor while he was Mayor of London embarks in an undying defence of the Prime Minister as Partygate pressure intensifies.

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Boris Johnson faces questions over his premiership as the fallout over Partygate continues.

On Monday three Conservative MPs announced that they have submitted letters of no confidence in the PM as a slew of scandals face him.

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Lord Daniel Moylan joined Iain Dale on Cross Question to reflect on Boris Johnson's handling of Partygate, and whether his former boss was right to remain in office following Sue Gray's damning report.

"I don't think he regarded it as a party at the time, but as a legitimate work activity" the Conservative peer said, echoing the PM's assertion that it was his duty to wish colleagues well as they left their posts when questioned over his being photographed at Downing Street parties.

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Journalist Jo Phillips challenged Lord Moylan, stating that the entire nation knew that the rules didn't permit parties.

"The law doesn't use the word party at all." He countered, adding "the word party never appears in the legislation – there is no prohibition on parties. Strangely enough, there's no prohibition on the drinking of alcohol."

"Is a leaving do reasonably necessary?" Iain asked the peer.

"You could see how somebody could take the view" that leaving parties "might be regarded as necessary" to work, Lord Moylan declared.

"It wasn't a straightforward 'you cannot go to a party.'"