Boris Johnson to publish defence of his behaviour over Partygate as he faces ... trends now
Boris Johnson is planning to publish a detailed defence of his behaviour over Partygate before he is grilled by MPs on Wednesday, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
The former Prime Minister has compiled a comprehensive legal case, arguing that he received clear advice at the time that lockdown gatherings in Downing Street were within Covid rules, which will be made public in the coming days.
His defence is also expected to call into question the fairness of the Commons Privileges Committee, which could decide his political fate when it questions him.
Photos of Mr Johnson and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case surrounded by Downing Street staff – the other faces blurred for anonymity – form the core of his defence that he did not intentionally mislead the House over Covid-era parties at No 10.
Sources claim that none of the more than two dozen No 10 staff who have given evidence to the committee – many of them featured in the photographs – have told the MPs that they believed they were breaking the rules.
SPEECH: Official photo of Mr Johnson's birthday in June 2020. No10 blurred the faces of other staff, except Simon Case
Boris Johnson pictured here at the gathering in No10 on June 19, 2020, with the then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Mr Johnson is also likely to argue that the gatherings were held to try to boost morale in No 10 which had been hit by waves of illness and which contributed to a stressful working environment.
A source said: 'People were dropping like flies. People were