Wednesday evening news briefing: 'Hand on heart, I did not lie to the House', says Boris Johnson

·6-min read
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Evening Briefing logo

Good evening. Boris Johnson has insisted "hand on heart" that he did not lie to Parliament over partygate gatherings held in Downing Street during the pandemic.

And Donald Trump is reportedly relishing the prospect of a "perp walk" should he face arrest.

Boris Johnson: 'Hand on heart, I did not lie to the House'

Boris Johnson has insisted "hand on heart" that he did not lie to MPs over partygate gatherings in Downing Street during the Covid pandemic.

Appearing before the Privileges Committee today, Mr Johnson maintained that he was given reassurances that the events were within the rules.

However, when asked who those officials were by a Committee member, Mr Johnson replied: "I can't name these officials."

The former prime minister also maintained that the events were not parties, but "essential work events".

Speaking of an event held on May 20, 2020, Mr Johnson said: "I was ushered out into the garden having been briefed shortly beforehand about what the event entailed. I met and thanked various groups of people who'd been working on Covid."

You can keep up to date with the latest developments on our live blog.

Sunak's new Brexit deal sails through the Commons

Rishi Sunak’s new Brexit deal sailed through the Commons today despite fears the Prime Minister would face a major Tory revolt.

MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Windsor Framework, as it was backed by 515 to 29, a majority of 486.

However, a number of prominent Tory MPs voted against the deal, including the former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

Meanwhile, Priti Patel, the former home secretary, urged the Prime Minister in The Telegraph to "go back to the EU and get us a better deal".

Mr Sunak’s Brexit battles are also unlikely to be over as Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the DUP, has warned that his party will not return to Stormont and end their protest against the post-Brexit trade agreements.

Follow the developments as they unfolded here.

Trump 'relishing idea of perp walk'

Donald Trump is relishing the idea of being handcuffed for a "perp walk" if he appears in court, amid reports he wants to turn his arrest into a "spectacle" to fire up his supporters.

The former president told friends he welcomed the idea of being paraded by the authorities, has debated whether he should smile or not for the cameras, and described the potential event as a "fun experience".

If, as expected, the former president is charged for allegedly covering up hush money paid to a porn star during his 2016 presidential campaign, he will be ordered to travel to Manhattan to hand himself in.

Police officers from the NYPD have set up barricades outside Trump Tower in Manhattan in preparation for any protests if Mr Trump is indicted.

Maighna Nanu has the full story.

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

Edinburgh | Fifteen people have been taken to hospital after a ship toppled over in a dry dock in Scotland's capital.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said 25 people were injured when the vessel became dislodged from its holding at Imperial Dock in Leith, Edinburgh.

Emergency services were called to the scene at around 8.30am. Pictures posted on social media showed the research vessel Petrel leaning at a 45-degree angle.

You can read the full report here.

Comment and analysis

World news: Serving soldiers arrested in Germany over coup plot

German authorities have arrested 23 people, including serving soldiers and police officers, who are believed to be part of the Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich) movement, a radical network plotting to overthrow the state and reinstate the Kaiser.

A police officer was also shot and lightly injured during the arrests, which are the result of one of the largest police investigations in recent German history, with up to 300 detectives working to uncover all the plotters.

Jorg Luyken has the full report.

Paul Theroux - Christopher Pillitz/Getty Images
Paul Theroux - Christopher Pillitz/Getty Images

Interview of the day

Paul Theroux on his travel books: "They are a snapshot of a place and moment of time that, for good or bad, is unrepeatable."

As his seminal book The Old Patagonian Express is released as a collector's edition, the celebrated travel writer muses on eight decades of adventure.

Read the interview here.

Business news: Traders bet on interest rate rise after surprise jump in prices

Markets are confident the Bank of England will increase interest rates this week following an unexpected rise in inflation last month.

Traders this morning priced in around a 99 per cent probability that the Monetary Policy Committee will decide to increase rates by 0.25 percentage points tomorrow.

Eir Nolsøe assesses the Bank of England's options after a surge in food prices – reported to have been caused by bad weather in southern Europe and Africa – triggered the unforeseen inflation rate rise.

You can follow the latest developments on our live blog.

Editor's choice

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Cars | The traditional manual handbrake is on the motoring extinction list

Property | 'The Government is trying to kill buy-to-let – but I won't stop buying properties'

Sport news: Freddie Steward has red card rescinded

England rugby union full-back Freddie Steward has had his controversial red card rescinded after he was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Hugo Keenan during England’s defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

Referee Jaco Peyper issued the red card because Steward’s elbow made contact with Keenan's head while bracing for impact.

However, a review panel ruled that there were sufficient mitigating factors, including the late change in Keenan’s positioning, which should have resulted in a yellow card being issued rather than a red card.

Steward's ban has consequently been overturned, and he could now feature in Leicester's Gallagher Premiership game with Bristol on Saturday.

Today's Matt cartoon

The Casey review into the Met Police inspired Matt's cartoon today. Click here to see more from Matt.
And you can find today's political cartoon here.

Three things for you

And finally... for this evening's downtime

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