Boris Johnson told 'in person' of Chris Pincher allegations in 2019, his spokesperson admits 1 month ago

Boris Johnson told 'in person' of Chris Pincher allegations in 2019, his spokesperson admits

Another screeching U-turn from Number 10

A spokesperson for the prime minister has confirmed that Boris Johnson was briefed on a complaint relating to Chris Pincher in 2019, after previously denying he had any knowledge of misconduct.

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Up until now, Number 10 had maintained that Johnson was not aware of any comprising information about Pincher.

It comes after an extraordinary intervention was made on Tuesday morning by the former permanent secretary in the Foreign Office who claimed senior government officials may have lied.

In a public letter, the former civil servant said Johnson was told "in person" about Chris Pincher's alleged wrongdoing in 2019.

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Lord McDonald said: "The original No 10 line is not true and the modification is still not accurate. Mr Johnson was
briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation.

"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."

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Speaking in BBC Radio 4’s Today programme after the release of his letter, Lord McDonald said: “I think they need to come clean. I think that the language is ambiguous. It's sort of telling the truth and crossing your fingers at the same time and hoping that people are not too forensic in their subsequent questioning. And I think that is not working.”

He added: “I dispute the use of the word ‘resolved’. For me ‘resolved’ is too positive a word. It sounds as though a happy and agreed conclusion was reached. No, the complaint was upheld. So to leave the impression that in some way Mr Pincher was exonerated is wrong.”

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