Boris Johnson news – live: Top civil servant accuses No 10 of lying over Pincher claims

The former permanent secretary at the foreign office Lord McDonald has accused No 10 of “not telling the truth” about allegations received about Chris Pincher’s conduct.

He claimed in a letter to the parliamentary standards commissioner that Boris Johnson was briefed “in person” about an investigation into Chris Pincher’s conduct as a foreign office minister.

“Mr Johnson was briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation,” Mr McDonald wrote in the letter. “There was a ‘formal complaint.’ Allegations were ‘resolved’ only in the sense that the investigation was completed; Mr Pincher was not exonerated. To characterise the allegations as ‘unsubstantiated’ is therefore wrong,” he added.

It comes as more than 1,000 parliamentary workers — representing two unions — have now written to House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle, urging parliament to take action over the scandal.

Sir Keir Starmer accused the PM of showing “bad judgement” in appointing Mr Pincher to the whips’ office, while justice secretary Dominic Raab says he found Mr Pincher “on the whole very professional.”

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