Grant Shapps, a Cabinet Partygate ally, said Boris Johnson was “clearly not celebrating” as he raised a glass of fizz and pointed out “that he lost his mother, although she died 10 months later
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Tory Grant Shapps has bizarrely claimed Boris Johnson was ‘clearly not partying’ when he attended a No.
The Cabinet ally said the Prime Minister was indeed mourning his mother, despite Charlotte Johnson Wahl’s “sudden” death ten months after the party.
The Transport Secretary came out with the eye-catching excuses today after ITV News revealed photos of the Prime Minister delivering a speech on the departure of aide Lee Cain, next to a table moaning with alcohol.
Mr Johnson is accused of lying to Parliament because he specifically denied there was a party at No 10 on 13 November 2020 – the date the photos were taken.
But Mr Shapps indicated today that the Prime Minister will deny he lied – because he didn’t celebrate.
Asked whether Mr Johnson had misled Parliament, he told Sky News: “The question was whether he was partying down there – no, clearly not.
“He had stopped by to thank a colleague and raise a glass, which left.”
After police did not even investigate Mr Johnson over the incident but instead fined other No 10 employees the same day, Mr Shapps said: “Police have spent a lot of time with a lot of people and a lot of resources crawling over it and They came to their conclusion knowing that he was not punished for it.”
Mr Shapps bizarrely tried to excuse Mr Johnson’s behavior by saying the Prime Minister had “lost his mother while on his period”.
And this despite the fact that Charlotte Johnson Wahl died “suddenly and peacefully” in September 2021, 10 months after the party, at the age of 79.
Mr Shapps said: “I don’t think those things should have happened, but I think it’s probably worth recalling in context that the Prime Minister himself was extremely ill during that time, had coronavirus up close and his mother during it lost during this time he was dealing with the pandemic.
“From the looks of it, he goes and thanks someone who’s leaving, he raises his glass to them.
“And like I said, I – having lived through the coronavirus like everyone in this country and in many cases made tremendous sacrifices – I don’t like to see images that suggest otherwise.
Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
“But that’s well covered territory, we’ve seen that, we’ve heard about that, the only difference is seeing the photo.”
The PM faces an inquiry from the Commons Privileges Committee into whether he lied when he specifically denied there was a party in No 10 on November 13, 2020.
When asked in the House of Commons last December whether there had been a party at No 10 that day, the Prime Minister said “no”, adding he was sure the rules would be observed at all times.
Labor said there was now “no doubt” that Mr Johnson “lied” to MPs.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has urged the Prime Minister to explain why he felt his behavior was “acceptable” when most people would find the images released by ITV News “unjustified and wrong”.
Claims emerged today that Boris Johnson suggested Sue Gray could simply drop her Partygate report in a secret meeting earlier in May.
The Prime Minister – who is the head of the Whitehall Inquiry – met her after speaking with officers No 10 “could be something she would like to consider”.
No10 has refused to release any logs. But it has now emerged that he asked if there was “much point” in publishing her final verdict on lockdown parties following a police investigation, the Times and Sky News reported.
The suggestion that Boris Johnson was trying to interfere in the inquiry brings fresh pressure after he was accused of lying to Parliament.
Sources told the Mirror that more photos showing the Prime Minister drinking at rogue lockdown gatherings at No 10 are likely to be published in Sue Gray’s report to Partygate – which could be released on Wednesday.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grant-shapps-claims-not-partying-27047663 Grant Shapps claims Boris Johnson "didn't celebrate" and mourned his mother - a year before her death