Senior Tory to meet police over claims MPs were 'blackmailed' not to oust PM
William Wragg said he will be speaking to a Met detective next week
A Tory MP who accused Downing Street of trying to "blackmail" MPs into not ousting Boris Johnson is reportedly set to meet police over his claims.
William Wragg said he will be speaking to a Met detective in the House of Commons early next week, after requesting a meeting with the force.
A Met Police spokesman said: "As with any such allegations, should a criminal offence be reported to the Met, it would be considered."
Downing Street said Friday that it had not seen any "evidence to support what are clearly serious allegations" but if presented with any "we would look at it very carefully".
BREAKING: A Conservative MP has said Tories who have expressed a lack of confidence in Boris Johnson have faced intimidation from the party, and should contact the police if they have been blackmailed.
Read more: https://t.co/TGerFxmHJp
📺 Sky 501, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/2UsSfT3pjL
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 20, 2022
The involvement from police comes after further allegations surfaced on Friday concerning the Downing Street parties, with The Telegraph revealing that No 10 staff partied until 1am in a seven-hour drinking session the night before Prince Philip’s funeral. It also emerged Friday that an email was found by Sue Gray, the civil servant tasked with investigating the alleged lockdown- defying parties, showing Johnson's private secretary was warned against holding the gathering.
Wragg's claims also come as Tory whips and Downing Street try to bolster support for Johnson ahead of Gray's report which is due next week.
- Sue Gray finds email showing staff knew Downing Street parties breached lockdown guidance
- No 10 staff partied until 1am in seven-hour booze session before Prince Philip funeral, reports say
- Tory MP accuses No 10 of blackmail against colleagues and urges victims to go to police
- Senior Tory David Davis tells Boris Johnson 'in the name of God, go' in fiery PMQs showdown
- Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour Party
Six Tory MPs have so far publicly declared no confidence in the PM, but more are thought to have submitted letters to the chairman of the backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady. Fifty-four letters are required to trigger a leadership election.
Wragg, MP for Hazel Grove in Greater Manchester and chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, raised his concerns on Thursday and advised colleagues who feel threatened to go to the police.
As well as making the "blackmail" claim, Wragg said Tory whips had threatened those suspected of wanting Johnson out with the removal of government investment in their constituencies. He further alleged that he had received reports of government ministers, advisers, and staff at No 10 "encouraging the publication of stories in the press seeking to embarrass" those suspected of lacking confidence in Johnson.
Wragg, who is also vice-chairman of the 1922 committee, claimed the reports "would seem to constitute blackmail" - and suggested affected MPs should contact the Commons Speaker as well as police.
After Wragg made his allegations, Christian Wakeford - who this week defected from the Conservatives to the Labour Party - said he was threatened he would not get a high school in his constituency if he did not vote in a certain way.