August 9, 2022

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Tory Deputy Chief Whip Quits For Second Time Amid ‘Groping’ Allegation

Boris Johnson was briefed “in person” about an allegation of inappropriate behaviour in opposition to...

Boris Johnson was briefed “in person” about an allegation of inappropriate behaviour in opposition to disgraced MP Chris Pincher in 2019, a former senior civil servant has claimed.

Because the deputy chief whip resigned his publish final week after allegations of groping two males, Quantity 10 has mentioned the prime minister was not conscious of particular allegations.

However Lord McDonald, who was the everlasting secretary within the Overseas Workplace between 2015 and 2020, has written to Parliament’s requirements commissioner saying Downing Avenue had made “inaccurate claims”.

Former senior civil servant questions Number 10 account of what PM knew about Chris Pincher | Politics latest

Tweeting the letter, he mentioned: “This morning I’ve written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Requirements – as a result of No 10 maintain altering their story and are nonetheless not telling the reality.”

Within the letter, he wrote: “The unique No 10 line just isn’t true and the modification continues to be not correct. Mr Johnson was
briefed in person concerning the initiation and consequence of the investigation.

“There was a ‘formal criticism’. Allegations had been ‘resolved’ solely within the sense that the investigation was accomplished; Mr Pincher was not exonerated. To characterise the allegations as ‘unsubstantiated’ is subsequently incorrect.”

Shortly earlier than the letter was printed, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab informed Sky Information’ Kay Burley that he knew concerning the allegation when he was overseas secretary in 2019.

He mentioned he had “made it clear in no unsure phrases” to Mr Pincher that the behaviour “must not ever be repeated”, and he referred it to each the civil service and Cupboard Workplace for investigation.

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However Mr Raab mentioned the inquiries didn’t “set off disciplinary motion”, and he had solely informed the PM concerning the incident “in current days”.

Full textual content of the letter

5 days after Mr Pincher’s resignation as deputy chief whip, there stays vital confusion surrounding complaints about his behaviour previous to the drunkenness he admits on the Carlton Membership on 29 June.

Inaccurate claims by 10 Downing Avenue proceed to be repeated within the media. On three July, the BBC web site reported: “No official complaints in opposition to [Mr Pincher] had been ever made.”

This isn’t true. In the summertime of 2019, shortly after he was appointed minister of state on the Overseas Workplace, a gaggle of officers complained to me about Mr Pincher’s behaviour. I mentioned the matter with the related official on the Cupboard Workplace. (In substance, the allegations had been much like these made about his behaviour on the Carlton Cub.) An investigation upheld the criticism; Mr Pincher apologised and promised to not repeat the inappropriate behaviour. There was no repetition on the FCO earlier than he left seven months later.

The identical BBC web site report continued: “Downing Avenue has mentioned Boris Johnson was not conscious of any particular allegations when he appointed Mr Pincher deputy chief whip in February.” By four July, the BBC web site mirrored a change in No 10’s line: “The prime minister’s official spokesman mentioned Mr Johnson knew of “allegations that had been both resolved or didn’t progress to a proper criticism”, including that ‘it was deemed not acceptable to cease an appointment merely due to unsubstantiated allegations’.”

See also  Tory Deputy Chief Whip Quits For Second Time Amid ‘Groping’ Allegation

The unique No 10 line just isn’t true and the modification continues to be not correct. Mr Johnson was briefed in person concerning the initiation and consequence of the investigation. There was a “formal criticism”. Allegations had been “resolved” solely within the sense that the investigation was accomplished; Mr Pincher was not exonerated. To characterise the allegations as “unsubstantiated” is subsequently incorrect.

I’m conscious that’s uncommon to jot down to you and concurrently publicise the letter. I’m acutely aware of the responsibility owed to the goal of an investigation however I act out of of my responsibility in direction of the victims. Mr Pincher deceived me and others in 2019. He can’t be allowed to make use of the confidentiality of the method three years in the past to pursue his predatory behaviour in different contexts.

Mr Pincher resigned as the federal government’s deputy chief whip on Thursday after allegations he drunkenly groped two males at a personal members membership in London earlier that week.

The occasion whip was solely faraway from him – leaving him sitting as an impartial MP – on Friday afternoon after the PM bowed to stress, and a proper criticism was made to Parliament’s Impartial Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

Plenty of ministers have taken to the airwaves to reiterate Quantity 10’s defence of Mr Johnson, together with training minister Will Quince, who mentioned he had been given “categorical assurance” the PM was not conscious of any critical particular allegations.

However on Monday, Sky Information revealed the PM’s spouse, Carrie Johnson, also questioned Mr Pincher’s suitability as a government whip as far back as 2017.

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Labour’s shadow worldwide commerce secretary, Emily Thornberry, mentioned No 10 “inform us various things on completely different days… and as time goes on, the reality begins to return out”.

She informed Sky Information Mr Johnson had been “turning a blind eye to any allegations as a result of it suited the prime minister to show a blind eye to it”, including: “We’d like a rustic that’s led by an honest, honourable person.”