Downing Street staff were asked to name a “lawful exception” or “reasonable excuse” for lockdown parties in No 10, a leak has revealed.
The Metropolitan Police sent a written questionnaire to those in government suspected of breaking Covid regulations as part of their evidence gathering process over Partygate.
The document, a version of which was obtained by ITV News, says that those accused are being given an opportunity to provide “a written statement under caution”.
Questionnaires were reportedly tailored to different individuals under investigation, so will not be identical – but the example obtained by the broadcaster gives a flavour of what Mr Johnson was asked.
It includes around a dozen questions, including: “Did you participate in a gathering on a specific date” and “What time did you leave”.
Other questions include “Did you interact with, or undertake any activity with, other persons present at the gathering. If yes, please provide details”, and “What was the purpose of your participation in that gathering”.
The document says people responding to the questionnaire can provide an answer to the questions put, send a statement in their own words, or remain silent.
Downing Street confirmed on Friday that the prime minister has submitted his questionnaire, though he has not elaborated on what he said in it.
In an interview on BBC’s Sunday Morning the prime minister refused an extraordinary 17 times to answer questions about the events, including whether he felt ashamed.
A No 10 spokesperson said: “We have confirmed the prime minister has been contacted by the Metropolitan Police. We will not be commenting further while the investigation is ongoing.”