Boris Johnson must reveal the security service advice he ignored over Evgeny Lebedev's peerage – Ian Murray MP

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This year, British people face the worst fall in living standards on record, Europe is at war, and the Prime Minister and his MPs partied on Tuesday night following the news that police were to issue 20 fines to people who attended lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

When the Partygate story first broke, Boris Johnson denied anything had happened, then told the House of Commons that staff at Number 10 Downing Street completely followed the lockdown rules.

The Metropolitan Police’s announcement this week confirms that this was, as we expected, not the case. They broke their own laws. After over two months of police time, 12 parties investigated and over 100 people questioned under caution, it has now been proven by the Met that the law was, in fact, broken.

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The Prime Minister knowingly lied, and Tory MPs and government ministers have made themselves complicit.

The culture is set from the very top. The buck stops with the Prime Minister, who spent months lying to and laughing at the British public, which is why he has got to go.

It is disgraceful that while the rest of the country followed his rules, and did the right thing, Johnson’s government acted like the restrictions did not apply to them.

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This has been a slap in the face of the millions of people who made huge sacrifices. Johnson has misled Parliament and the public, and he’s taking the entire country for fools.

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Evgeny Lebedev (left) and Boris Johnson pictured together at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, in 2009 (Picture: Ian West/PA)Evgeny Lebedev (left) and Boris Johnson pictured together at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, in 2009 (Picture: Ian West/PA)
Evgeny Lebedev (left) and Boris Johnson pictured together at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, in 2009 (Picture: Ian West/PA)

However, the Prime Minister is not only a law-breaking liar, but a threat to national security.

The Prime Minister has allowed his friendship with Evgeny Lebedev, the son and business partner of an ex-KGB agent, to blind his primary duty to the British public – to keep them safe.

This government’s dangerous links to Russian oligarchs are putting Britain at risk. And we must get to the facts of this case.

The public have a right to know how an individual was granted a seat in the heart of our Parliament by the Prime Minister against security advice.`

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Such action is a complete abdication of his responsibility as Prime Minister.

This goes past the point of morality and into the issue of safety. He is putting personal interest before the public’s interest. But this time he may have risked national security.

For Johnson to nominate to the House of Lords “someone who has promoted the worst conspiracy theories and defences of Vladimir Putin”, to quote Keir Starmer, shows just how flawed the Prime Minister’s judgement is.

Appointment to the House of Lords should be on the basis of loyal public service to our country, not friendship with the Prime Minister.

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Johnson has continued to dismiss vital advice time and time again, even when Britain’s national security is at risk.

The government’s full guidance about a peerage for Lebedev, before it was mysteriously airbrushed out, must now be published in the national interest.

The Labour Party is working hard to build a credible government in waiting and as every day passes Johnson’s actions only help us along.

The Prime Minister is a moral vacuum who is no longer fit to rule our country.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South

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