Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been referred to police by the government’s Cabinet Office over new allegations he broke lockdown rules during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The Times report said the Cabinet Office, which is responsible for overseeing the operation of government, made a referral to two regional police forces based on information discovered while preparing submissions for a public inquiry into the pandemic.
Ministerial diaries showed visits by friends to Chequers, a rural country mansion which is made available to sitting prime ministers, during the pandemic, the report said.
Reuters could not immediately reach his spokesperson for comment. The Times article also quoted Johnson’s team as calling the referral a “clearly politically motivated attempt to manufacture something out of nothing.”
The Cabinet Office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, but were quoted in the Times as saying:
“Information came to light during the process of preparing evidence for submission to the COVID-19 inquiry. It was identified as part of the normal disclosure review of potentially relevant documents being undertaken by the legal team for inquiry witnesses.
“In line with obligations in the civil service code, this material has been passed to the relevant authorities and it is now a matter for them.”