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

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 had completely followed lockdown rules.

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

The Prime Minister knowingly lied, and Conservative MPs and government ministers were complicit.

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Culture is established from the top. The blame lies with the Prime Minister, who has spent months lying and mocking the British public, which is why he must go.

It is shameful that while the rest of the country followed its rules and did the right thing, Johnson’s government acted as if the restrictions did not apply to him.

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It was a slap in the face for millions of people who made huge sacrifices. Johnson has deceived Parliament and the public, and he takes the whole country for fools.

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

However, the Prime Minister is not just a liar who breaks the law, but a threat to national security.

The Prime Minister allowed his friendship with Evgeny Lebedev, the son and business partner of a former KGB agent, to blind his primary duty to the British public – to protect them.

This government’s dangerous ties to the Russian oligarchs put Britain at risk. And we have to get to the facts of this case.

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

Such an action is a complete abdication of his responsibility as prime minister.

This goes beyond the point of morality and into the issue of safety. He puts personal interest before the public interest. But this time, he may have risked national security.

That Johnson appoints to the House of Lords “someone who has promoted the worst conspiracy theories and the worst defenses of Vladimir Putin”, to quote Keir Starmer, shows how flawed the Prime Minister’s judgment 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.

Johnson has continued to reject vital advice time and time again, even when Britain’s national security is threatened.

The government’s full guidelines on a peerage for Lebedev, before they were mysteriously deleted, must now be released in the national interest.

Labor is working hard to build a credible government-in-waiting, and with each passing day Johnson’s actions only help us.

The Prime Minister is a moral void who is no longer fit to govern our country.

Ian Murray is Labor MP for Edinburgh South

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