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23rd Feb 2022

Boris Johnson ‘first prime minister to be questioned under caution’ as police documents leaked

Charlie Herbert

Police documents show questionnaire PM may have been asked

The questionnaire has been labelled ‘as basic as you can possibly imagine’

Leaked police documents have revealed what questions Downing Street staff and Boris Johnson may have been asked in the questionnaires sent to them as part of the investigation into the ‘Partygate’ scandal.

In a questionnaire leaked to ITV News, Number 10 staff have been asked by police to provide a “lawful exception” or “reasonable excuse” for parties which took place during lockdown.

The questionnaires have been sent to staff suspected of attending gatherings and parties that broke covid regulations during some of the most challenging periods of the pandemic.

ITV News reports that the prime minister has already completed and returned his questionnaire to the Met, who have made it clear that recipients are filling them out under caution.

This makes Johnson the first prime minister to ever undergo this level of police questioning.

The questionnaire starts off by saying that those accused of breaking the law have an opportunity to provide “a written statement under caution.”

Among the dozen or so questions in the document, recipients are asked whether they participated “in a gathering on a specific date,” what the “purpose of your participation in that gathering” was, and whether they interacted with or undertook any activity “with other persons present at the gathering.”

They are then asked to provide further detail about what this interaction or activity may have been.

Criminal law barrister Andrew Keogh told ITV that the questionnaire suggests the Met is not carrying out a “through investigation” as the questions are “as basic as you can possibly imagine.”

The police documents also ask for timings of when they were at the party and how many other people were present.

However the questionnaire also provides those accused of breaking lockdown restrictions with an opportunity to justify their actions, asking: “What, if any, lawful exception applied to the gathering and/or what reasonable excuse did you have for participating in the gathering?”

Although the questionnaires were tailored to each individual being investigated over the parties, the leaked document at least provides an idea of what the PM may have been asked.

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.”

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