'Someone's got to stick up for him': Rachel Johnson defends Boris over Partygate scandal

19 April 2022, 01:00 | Updated: 19 April 2022, 01:06

Rachel Johnson speaks to Jo Maugham

By Emma Soteriou

Rachel Johnson has defended the Prime Minister over the Partygate scandal, following claims he "led celebrations" during a lockdown gathering.

It comes as the Prime Minister is set to address the Commons on Tuesday after having been fined for attending a gathering at No10 during the Covid pandemic.

Rachel said: "I saw him during the period and I do feel that someone's got to stick up for him.

"As far as I could tell, if it was the matron in a hospital's birthday and she went into the staff room and there were nurses offering her a cake, would she have said 'No, I can't come in because this would break Covid rules'?"

She added: "I know the optics are terrible but everybody is easily putting the worst interpretation on every single episode."

It came after Director of the Good Law Project Jo Maugham said: "Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

"These were laws that he had a hand in making himself.

"Nobody else gets the right to say when charged with a criminal offence 'Oh well, I didn't know it was a criminal offence therefore it doesn't matter' so why should the Prime Minister be any different?

"I remember when we all thought that our leaders of public life should be people who had the highest moral standards and now we're falling over ourselves to make implausible excuses for the Prime Minister.

"We should look up to him, not look down at him."

Read more: Boris 'braced for second partygate fine' as police continue probe of 12 events

Read more: Nick Ferrari Says: Boris deserves another chance but it is no piece of cake

'The Conservative Party is turning into the Boris Johnson party'

Rachel went on to offer a different perspective on the claims.

"Do you think there's a possibility that those within Downing Street - or within other Whitehall departments - during the period of the pandemic restrictions regarded themselves as being in a household bubble in that they only worked with those people, they only saw those people, they lived and worked inside one residence together and therefore they were like a extended household?

"Do you think this is partly why the Prime Minister came to the Commons and said 'I didn't break any rules' because, as far as he was concerned, he was in a work bubble with these people?"

"The Prime Minister made those restrictions," Mr Maugham said.

Mr Johnson is said to be 'braced to receive further fines for breaches of Covid laws' as the Met continues its probe of 12 events.