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Partygate:Texts about alleged Carrie Johnson lockdown party expected to be used as evidence in inquiry into Boris Johnson

Text messages relating to an alleged lockdown party held by Carrie Johnson that was not examined by the Sue Gray inquiry are expected to be called in by MPs investigating Boris Johnson, Sky News understands.

The texts have been flagged up to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and allegedly show a Downing Street aide told Mrs Johnson her husband was on the way up to the flat on 19 June 2020, with her replying she was already there with some male friends.

Over the weekend, The Sunday Times revealed that Mr Case was told of the previously unseen messages suggesting the prime minister’s wife held a gathering in the No 11 flat, where the Johnsons live, with friends for her husband’s 56th birthday.

At the time, two or more people were banned from being indoors except for work purposes.

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The event has not previously been made public and was not part of the published Sue Gray investigation.

But Sky News understands parliament’s privileges committee is expected to call for the text messages to be shown to them as part of an investigation into whether Mr Johnson knowingly misled the Commons by repeatedly denying any parties had taken place.

The messages are seen as relevant evidence as to whether the PM misled parliament and both he and Mrs Johnson could be summoned to give evidence to the committee – in writing or in person.

Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is standing aside as chair for the inquiry, said: “I’m sure the committee will want to follow the evidence wherever it may lead.”

Mr and Mrs Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were fined for attending an earlier gathering for the prime minister’s birthday in the Cabinet room.

Chris Philp, the technology and digital economy minister, told Sky News’ Kay Burley it was “not immediately obvious” an investigation is needed into the allegations as the Met Police and Sue Gray inquiry have been “unbelievably comprehensive”.

He said: “Having had two separate investigations, including by the police, over many months it’s not immediately obvious to me that we need any more investigations when this has probably, rightly, been the most thoroughly investigated set of incidents in recent times.”

Ms Gray was informed of the messages in January by the aide but they did not want to forward the messages. They said they would show them to inquiry officials in person and agreed to supply them to the Met Police.

The aide claims the Gray investigation team failed to follow up on the offer and once the Met’s investigation concluded two weeks ago, they offered the messages to the Gray team but nothing happened.

But the Cabinet Office said the aide did not offer to bring the messages to them and despite being asked to provide all relevant information to the Gray inquiry, they did not.

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Ms Gray’s team did provide the email exchange with the aide on the issue to Met detectives, the Cabinet Office said.

They added that the aide only offered to share the texts when they were just about to publish the Sue Gray investigation last week but did take into account the aide’s comments, made after the Met report concluded, that they were asked to organise the flat party.

Another party on 13 November 2020 involving Mrs Johnson in the No 11 flat, where ABBA songs were allegedly played, was not included in the Gray inquiry and nobody was fined for it by the Met.

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