Allies of prime minister have mounted whispering campaign against probe – but foreign secretary calls for ‘trust’
Downing Street has disowned claims that a parliamentary inquiry into the Partygate scandal will be a “kangaroo court”, insisting that Boris Johnson trusts the cross-party committee to deliver a fair verdict.
しかしながら, a spokesperson for No 10 would not commit to the prime minister giving evidence to the inquiry in public and before the TV cameras, saying only that Downing Street would “assist” the committee in its work.
番号 10 appeared to have mounted a whispering campaign against the crucial probe into whether the prime minister knowingly misled parliament, after it announced that whistleblowers can give anonymous evidence.
Allies of Mr Johnson told デイリーテレグラフ of their fears of “hearsay evidence” being used against him, also questioning why Labour veteran Harriet Harman will chair the investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee.
But foreign secretarty リズ・トラス and defence secretary Ben Wallace dismissed questions about the credibility of the process.
And a No 10 spokesperson told reporters: “We trust the committee to take its responsibilities seriously.”
Asked whether this meant the PM trusted the committee to come to a fair verdict, 彼は返事をした: “I think that is what that statement alludes to. It’s a parliamentary process and, as I say, we trust the committee to take its responsibilities seriously.”
The Telegraph quoted one No 10 source as saying it would be impossible for Mr Johnson to challenge anonymous evidence, when he testifies to the Commons privileges committee in the autumn.
“It is bonkers. Going on hearsay evidence is not in the spirit of it. How can you interrogate someone who has not turned up? If you don’t trust the process how can you trust the result?” the paper quoted one pro-Johnson MP saying.
But asked if she feared “a Kangaroo court”, Ms Truss told スカイニュース: "番号. We have these processes in parliament. The process has kicked off. We now need to wait for the result.”
She told BBC Radio 4: “We need to allow that process to continue. I trust implicitly my parliamentary colleagues to listen properly to the evidence and make the right decision.”
The Downing Street spokesperson said that Mr Johnson had been clear he was ready to “assist them in their work”.
But he refused to confirm that the PM will give evidence in person, saying that the committee must first determine the format for evidence-taking sessions.
No decision has yet been taken on whether questioning of witnesses will take place in public and whether TV cameras will be allowed in.
クリスブライアント, who stood aside from chairing the inquiry for Ms Harman because he has called for Mr Johnson to resign, accused him of trying to “throw over the rules” before it has begun.
“They’re scared of being caught out. The committee members are thorough, fair and meticulous. They’re advised by the former head of the tribunal service,」彼はツイートした.
“But this is what Johnson always does, throw over the rules or the body that adjudicates on them.”
Although anonymous evidence will be allowed, that will only be where Ms Harman is “able to identify the individual’s identity in conjunction with committee staff”.
The committee has appointed Ernest Ryder, a former appeal court judge who recently reviewed the standards system that disciplines MPs, as an adviser.
The foreign secretary also took a swipe at colleagues using abusive language about Russia’s leader, after Mr Johnson called him “evil” and Mr Wallace said he had “small man syndrome”.
“I’ve never met ウラジーミル・プーチン. I don’t pretend that I can conduct a psychological analysis of him, nor do I think it’s helpful,トラスさんは言いました.
そして, asked about the prime minister’s argument that Putin would not have invaded if her were a woman, 彼女は言いました: “I believe that both men and women are capable of doing evil things.”
Ms Truss also hinted the UK should send weapons to 台湾, which is threatened by China, 言って: “We need to learn the lessons of ウクライナ. We could have ensured a Ukraine had the defensive capability earlier.”