Boris Johnson attended Partygate events because he wanted to "thank staff," he has said.
The former prime minister is appearing before the privileges committee today to put forth his argument that he did not intentionally mislead Parliament when he said on a number of occasions last year that Covid rules were followed at all times.
The cross-party group of MPs relied on a number of reported events to form their judgement and Johnson has said he had to attend some events for work-related reasons, as was allowed in the guidance, because he had to "thank staff".
“I will believe to the day I die that it was my job to thank staff for what they had done,” he said, adding that staff “morale did begin to sink”.
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Speaking about photographs circulated about these events, he added: “It seems to be the view of the committee and sadly many members of the public that they show me attending rule-breaking parties where no one was social distancing. They show nothing of the kind.
“They show me giving a few words of thanks at a work event for a departing colleague. They show me with my red box passing on the way to another meeting or heading back into my flat to carry on working, often late into the night.
“They show a few people standing together – as permitted by the guidance – where full social distancing is not possible and where mitigating measures are taken. They show events which I was never fined for attending.”
That's fine then...
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