Steve Barclay claims Boris Johnson ‘still has a role in politics’ | British News

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Health Secretary Steve Barclay has insisted Boris Johnson still plays a “big role” in politics and should remain an MP even after the next general election.

The support comes after the former prime minister criticized the cabinet office for giving police information about other possible curfew violations during his tenure as prime minister.

Mr Barclay, who was appointed Health Secretary by Mr Johnson after Sajid Javid’s dramatic resignation, sparking a wave of resignations that ended in his ouster, defended his former boss on Sunday.

When asked on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday program if the former Prime Minister was a “toast”, he replied: “No, I think Boris has a big part to play.” We have his leadership in the response of the Landes has looked to Ukraine, where he has taken the lead here.”

Boris Johnson testifies before the Privileges Committee in the House of Commons in London. Picture date: Wednesday March 22, 2023. PA Photo. The former prime minister is expected to face around four hours of questioning for denying the number 10 parties during the pandemic, breaking lockdown rules. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire

Mr Johnson is being questioned again about his behavior during lockdown (Image: PA)

He added: “Obviously I want to see Boris back as a Member of Parliament and I want to see all my colleagues again, but the point is that Boris has achieved a lot of things.”

Mr Johnson appeared nervous when he was approached by Sky News at a Washington DC airport on Friday and questioned about entries from his ministerial diary, which were forwarded to two powers.

The Times, which published the story, said the documents document visits by friends to Checkers – the Prime Minister’s country home – and other events at Downing Street.

When asked what the entries show, he replied, “They just record events from my time.”

Mr Johnson was previously fined for attending a Downing Street gathering to mark his birthday in June 2020 – one of several political crises that ultimately led to the end of his tenure as Prime Minister.

“This whole thing is a load of nonsense from start to finish… I find it ridiculous that items from my journal are being pecked at and turned over to the police, the Privileges Committee, without anyone having the proper common sense to do so.” Ask me, what these entries refer to,” he said.

The new information came to light during a review by government-funded lawyers ahead of the Covid public inquiry.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay made these claims during an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sky on Sunday (Image: Sky News)

Health Secretary Steve Barclay made these claims during an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sky on Sunday (Image: Sky News)

Mr Johnson has meanwhile announced he is cutting ties with his legal team and seeking new lawyers, which could cost taxpayers up to £1million, according to the Sunday Mirror.

The Cabinet Office firmly believes ministers played “no role” in the decision-making process behind the police referrals, while Mr Johnson believes he was the victim of a “politically motivated intrigue”.

But as the Sunday Times reports, Jeremy Quin, the paymaster-general, is said to have agreed to the handing over of documents to the Privileges Committee, which is investigating whether Mr Johnson lied to Parliament about Partygate.

The fallout adds to the problems faced by Mr Sunak, who received a stiff sentence alongside Mr Johnson in connection with the June 2020 incident and is now facing unrest from the former Prime Minister’s allies.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said he believed the public was “fed up” with stories about the former Prime Minister.

“These are deeply personal things and I think the mounting revelations about Boris Johnson only add to the sense of hurt and people are fed up with it,” he told broadcasters on Friday.

“I think the question now is why didn’t these allegations surface earlier, all these allegations.”

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Justin Scaccy

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