Boris Johnson says the general public’s view of Partygate is ‘million miles’ from reality

Boris Johnson boasted on WhatsApp that he would “get through” Partygate and “come out on top”, it has been revealed.

The former PM insisted the general public’s impression of what occurred in Downing Street was a “million miles” from the reality. As he appeared on the Covid Inquiry, he complained the characterisation of lockdown-busting gatherings had been “absolutely absurd”.

At one level he appeared near tears as he insisted it wasn’t true that he didn’t care concerning the serial rule-breaking. The inquiry was proven WhatsApp messages wherein Mr Johnson boasted that he would journey out the row over No10 events after they have been first reported by The Mirror.

The former PM exchanged messages with Cabinet Secretary Simon Case after the highest civil servant was pressured to step down from his function investigating the lockdown-busting events after claims emerged there had been a gathering in his personal workplace. On December 17, 2021 Mr Johnson wrote: “Cab sec I am really sorry this thing is now causing you any kind of grief at all. The whole business is insane. We will get through it and come out on top.”

In one other he wrote: “In retrospect we all should have told people… to think about their behaviour in number ten and how it would look. But now we must smash on.” When it was put to him that he didn’t care concerning the flouting of guidelines, Mr Johnson mentioned: “When I went into intensive care, I noticed round me lots of people who weren’t really aged.

“In fact, they were middle-aged men and they were quite like me – and some of us were going to make it and some of us weren’t… To say that I didn’t care about the suffering that was being inflicted on the country is simply not right.”

Mr Johnson admitted the row over Dominic Cummings breaking lockdown by visiting Barnard Castle was a “bad moment”. But he insisted it didn’t result in the general public at massive now not being keen to observe the foundations. The Mirror broke the story that the PM’s high aide had pushed 264 miles from London to his mother and father’ property in Durham in March 2020 regardless of having coronavirus signs.

Mr Johnson mentioned: “It was a bad moment, I won’t pretend otherwise. But actually, I think that what happened thereafter was fascinating in that whatever the rights and wrongs of that position I took on that episode, people continued to want us to get on with the job of fixing the pandemic.”

The former PM was grilled over claims through the pandemic he mentioned he was keen to “let it rip” as those that would die had had “a good innings”. Mr Johnson mentioned it was not true that he was “remotely reconciled to fatalities across the country or that I believed that it was acceptable to let it rip”.

He added: “What I was asking and I had to do this. I had to challenge the consensus in the meeting. You have got to understand these meetings comprised an overwhelming number of very, very talented, brilliant public health officials, civil servants and so on, scientists. And I was representing the only layperson in the meeting.”

In a determined bid to create a distraction, Mr Johnson recommended the Covid Inquiry ought to look into whether or not the virus originated from a lab in China. But chair Baroness Hallett identified that it was he as PM who determined what she ought to deal with. “Mr Johnson, you set my terms of reference,” she mentioned firmly.