| 2 December 2023, Saturday |

Sunak faces pressure to cancel Boris’ honours list amid disclosure of Covid-era events

There is an appeal for the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to either cancel or postpone Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list. This list aims to reward numerous allies of the former prime minister, but it comes at a time when Johnson himself is facing a police investigation regarding new allegations related to the Partygate scandal.
Labour and the Lib Dems stated that the prime minister should pull the list containing around 50 names which are likely to get approved and can be published in the next two weeks.

The thought that Sunak is willing to go ahead with Boris Johnson’s list has also left some Conservatives baffled.

Covid-era events hosted at both Chequers and Downing Street
The plan of honouring Johnson’s allies has now become more controversial after his pandemic diaries were passed by the Cabinet Office to two police forces over concerns about potential rule breaches during Covid.

The documents include a dozen events which were hosted at the prime minister’s grace-and-favour mansion, Chequers, and No 10. The events were held between June 2020 and May 2021. The documents were handed by Johnson to his government-appointed lawyers. Since the lawyers were being paid by the Cabinet Office, they also received the diaries and they decided that the matter should be referred to the police under the civil service code.
The diaries were reported to contain events which were not part of the investigation carried out by the Met police last year and also were not included in the Whitehall inquiry headed by then-senior civil servant Sue Gray.

After allies of Johnson expressed their fury at the situation, No 10 emphasised that Sunak was not involved in the decision to hand over the pandemic diaries of the former prime minister.

“We have not seen the information or material in question,” said the official spokesperson of Sunak on Wednesday, adding that the ministers had “no involvement in this process and were only made aware after the police had been contacted”.

Sunak should abandon Johnson’s resignation honours list, say critics
The critics have stated Sunak needs to cancel plans related to Johnson’s resignation honours list, which includes names of party donors, aides and even Boris Johnson’s father Stanley Johnson, as a string of reports emerge about Partygate.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said that the list cannot go ahead in the wake of fresh accusations against Johnson.

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