Davey: Boris Johnson must not use taxpayers’ cash for legal advice

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has demanded that Boris Johnson must not be able to use taxpayers’ cash to fund his legal advice over the police investigation into law-breaking parties held in Downing Street.

Ed Davey has written today to Treasury Solicitor Susanna McGibbon, who oversees the Government Legal Department, calling on her to ensure Boris Johnson does not receive taxpayer-funded legal advice or representation from government lawyers in relation to his alleged breaches of Covid laws.

The letter adds that it would be “completely unacceptable for taxpayers to bear the cost of the Prime Minister trying to defend himself from these allegations.”

The Government Legal Department had total spending of over £264 million in 2020-21.

The Metropolitan Police yesterday confirmed they are investigating eight gatherings believed to have breached Covid rules on government premises and are reviewing evidence including 300 images.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “After every party at Number Ten, the taxpayer-funded cleaners had to clear up the mess. Now Boris Johnson is asking government lawyers to clean up his latest mess.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey

“Sue Gray was clear: this behaviour was difficult to justify, and was a serious failure of judgement and leadership. These were personal decisions and personal actions, like the excessive and inappropriate consumption of alcohol. That means the Prime Minister should use personal lawyers.

“People are rightly furious that Boris Johnson broke the very rules he asked the rest of us to follow. Making taxpayers pay for his legal costs would be rubbing salt in the wound. Johnson should fork out for any legal advice about law-breaking parties from his own pocket, not pick the taxpayers’ pockets for his defence.”

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