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Government legal fees for Boris Johnson’s partygate Privileges Committee probe topped £265,000

Boris Johnson’s legal fees during the Privileges Committee parygate probe came to more than £265,000, according to new figures.

Figures published by the Cabinet Office on Thursday showed that the former Prime Minister’s final legal costs ere £265,522, after it covered the bill for Mr Johnson as he defended himself during the parliamentary inquiry.

Solicitors firm Peters & Peters was awarded a contract worth £129,700 in August 2022 to provide Mr Johnson with advice during the investigation, although later Cabinet Office estimates had put the costs as at least £222,000.

The cross-party Privileges Committee found that Mr Johnson lied to Parliament over lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street.

The former Tory leader quit the Commons before the committee delivered its recommendations, which included that Mr Johnson should have faced a 90-day suspension for misleading the House and being complicit in a campaign of intimidation against the panel investigating him.

The figure sparked criticism from Labour, whose Deputy party leader Angela Rayner said: “At the height of a cost-of-living crisis, Rishi Sunak has stood by and watched as the disgraced former prime minister milks the taxpayer to the tune of a quarter of a million pounds to prop up his partygate denials.

“This is a spineless Prime Minister, too weak to put a stop to this unprecedented and unacceptable waste of taxpayers’ money or force his predecessor to hand back taxpayers’ money.”

Last month, Mr Johnson announced he was resigning as an MP with immediate effect as he branded the investigation into whether he misled Parliament a “kangaroo court”.

He accused the Privileges Committee probe into whether he misled Parliament over partygate of attempting to “drive me out” and claimed it “reeks of prejudice”.

The committee’s excoriating report detailed four occasions in which Mr Johnson lied to the Commons about Partygate, including repeated denials that any parties took place in Downing Street on 13 November 2020.

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