Boris Johnson was briefed in person about Chris Pincher allegations, Lord McDonald ...

The way the government has answered questions about how much Boris Johnson knew about those Chris Pincher allegations has been... less than ideal. So much so that a lobby journalist who attends press Number 10 press briefings seemed to have had enough today.

In case it has passed you by, Number 10 seemed to change its story a few times regarding how much the PM knew about Pincher after he resigned after being accused of groping two men, triggering a flood allegations about his conduct over the years (dating back to before Johnson promoted him to deputy chief whip earlier this year).

On 1 July, No 10’s deputy official spokesperson insisted that the prime minister was not aware of any allegations against Pincher at the time of promoting him to deputy chief whip but he later corrected himself to say Johnson was not aware of any “specific” allegations against Pincher.

Then on 4 July, No 10 acknowledged that Johnson had personally been aware of allegations against Pincher at the time of his promotion after the BBC and the Independent reported Johnson was aware of a specific complaint about Pincher while he was a foreign office minister from 2019 to 2020.

But No 10 said that at the time these allegations were “either resolved or did not proceed to a formal complaint” and other reports said he had "forgot" he had been told about them.

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Following the latest line from No 10, crossbench peer and former top civil servant Simon McDonald wrote a letter to the Standards Commissioner accusing No 10 of not telling the truth.

To say this eroded journalist's trust in Downing Street is an understatement, given what one asked today and what other lobby journalists made of it:


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