Johnson submission contains ‘no new evidence’ and had errors and typos, say MPs

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MPs leading an inquiry into whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament over his No 10 lockdown parties defence said the former prime minister’s evidence submission contains “no new documentary evidence”.

The Committee of Privileges on Tuesday published 52 pages of written evidence submitted by Mr Johnson ahead of his public hearing on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson has insisted in the evidence bundle to the inquiry that he “did not intentionally or recklessly mislead the House”.

In a statement, the MPs said the initial unredacted evidence package that was handed in on Monday afternoon included a “number of errors and typos”.

A “final corrected version” was not submitted to the Privileges Committee until 8.02am on Tuesday morning, they said — only 30 hours before the hearing is due to start.

“Redactions have been made in the published version to protect the identity of some witnesses, in consultation with Mr Johnson, particularly junior-ranking civil servants,” the MPs said.

“Mr Johnson’s written submission contains no new documentary evidence.”

Asked about claims of errors in his submission, a source close to Mr Johnson told the PA news agency: “A typo about a date was corrected so that the submission was fully accurate.

“It is not right to suggest that the document had errors.

“The committee received it in its substantially complete form at 2.32pm yesterday.”

The MPs said they would “consider carefully the further arguments made by Mr Johnson” and respond to them in their final report.

In agreement with Mr Johnson, the committee said a “core bundle” of documents to which the panel of MPs and Mr Johnson may refer to in the course of the questioning will be published on Wednesday morning, before the hearing commences.

The committee said it “remains confident in the fairness of its processes” following criticism made by Mr Johnson about its handling of the inquiry.