Boris Johnson ‘does not have to resign’ if police interrogate him with caution – British politics live news | Politics

Good morning. As one journalist on the Today program put it this morning, it’s Grayja vu. We are still waiting for the report from senior official Sue Gray in partygate who can decide whether Boris Johnson will remain as prime minister or not. Earlier this morning, it had still not been formally submitted to No. 10. Johnson says he wants to publish it shortly after he receives it, and also make a statement to MPs, and it is possible that this could happen in day. But many MPs are not in Westminster. Business is light, with a debate over the Holocaust Memorial Day main attraction, and Tory MPs are on a one-line whip, meaning they do not have to attend. Like the Telegraph Christopher Hope reports, a delay until next week looks increasingly possible.

Christopher Hope📝
(@christopherhope)

RECENT As things stand, senior government figures expect the Sue Gray report early next week.
The wait continues …


January 27, 2022

Thérèse Coffey, the Labor and Pensions Secretary, was at the interview round this morning. Asked when the Gray report would be released, she replied, “I really do not know.”

Boris Johnson is still trying hard to garner support among Tory MPs and I will write more about that later. But in interviews last night, at least one new line emerged: Ministers say that even if Johnson was interviewed by police under caution, he would not have to resign.

When Tony Blair was prime minister and the police wanted to question him about the money-for-honors affair, he made it known to them that if they questioned him under caution (i.e. as a suspect, not a witness), he would feel obliged to resign. Police backed off and questioned him without warning him first. (In that case, no one was charged at all.) If Blair thought he was setting a precedent, it is not one Johnson intends to follow. In an interview on Channel 4 News last night Jacob Rees-Mogg, the head of the Commons, was asked if Johnson would resign if police felt the need to read him his rights before taking a statement from him at the partygate. Rees-Mogg replied:


No, of course it would not be a resignation case because people are innocent in this country until proven otherwise. And it is worth remembering that the police themselves have said that the fact that they are investigating something does not mean that crime has necessarily been committed. They’re investigating because that’s what the police are doing.

(Rees-Mogg was wrong about this. On Tuesday, Dame Cressida Dick, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said that the police were only investigating these “fact” lockdown incidents because they appeared to be “serious and obvious” violations of the rules and there appeared to be not to be any “reasonable defense”.)

And later, on ITV’s Peston, Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, was also asked whether being interviewed with caution would be a matter of the resignation of the Prime Minister. He replied, “No, I would not go that far.” He also suggested that cash for honor was a more serious scandal, saying it raised “very serious issues of decency and ethics”.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30: Nadine Dorries, Secretary of Culture, gives a speech at the annual conference of the advertising industry.

After kl. 10.30: Jacob Rees-Mogg, the head of Commons, takes questions in Commons about next week’s business.

11.30: Downing Street is holding a lobby briefing.

12:00: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s Prime Minister, takes questions from MSPs.

I may be covering some UK Covid developments here, but there’s more on our global live blog, including details of this morning’s announcement that restrictions on visiting people in nursing homes in the UK will be eased from Monday.

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