Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s legal defence fees for the probe into his role in the partygate scandal have topped £265,000, new figures have revealed.

The Cabinet Office said on Thursday the former prime minister’s legal defence totalled £265,522 – a bill it paid as Mr Johnson defended himself to the parliamentary committee.

Peters & Peters, the law firm used to provide Mr Johnson with legal advice, was handed a contract in August 2022 worth £129,000, although the Cabinet Office later estimated costs would rise to £222,000.

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The inquiry itself found Mr Johnson had lied to parliament over his role in the lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.

Boris Johnson, who stood down as prime minister in September 2022, also quit as an MP earlier this year ahead of the full report, triggering a by-election in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

The Privileges Committee report recommended Mr Johnson face a 90-day suspension from the House of Commons for misleading MPs and for being complicit in a campaign to discredit the panel.

MPs approved the report last month.

The legal costs were first reported by The Guardian.

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MPs backed partygate report

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner said: “At the height of a cost of living crisis, Rishi Sunak has stood by and watched as the disgraced former prime minister milks the taxpayer to the tune of a quarter of a million pounds to prop up his partygate denials.

“This is a spineless prime minister, too weak to put a stop to this unprecedented and unacceptable waste of taxpayers’ money or force his predecessor to hand back taxpayers’ money.”

Ahead of the COVID-19 inquiry, Mr Johnson was due to handover his WhatsApp messages from his old phone, but missed the deadline due to allegedly forgetting his password to the device.

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