Senior Tory MP to meet police to discuss No 10 ‘blackmail’ claims


he senior Tory backbencher who accused No 10 of attempting to “blackmail” MPs searching for to oust Boris Johnson is to satisfy police to debate his allegations.

William Wragg mentioned he shall be assembly a Scotland Yard detective within the Home of Commons early subsequent week, elevating the prospect police might open an investigation.

The disclosure got here after Downing Road mentioned it might not be mounting its personal inquiry into the claims, regardless of calls to take action by each Conservative and opposition MPs.

A No 10 spokesman mentioned it might solely open an inquiry if it was introduced with proof to again up Mr Wragg’s assertions.

Nonetheless the MP, who chairs the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, mentioned he believed an investigation must be for the “consultants” within the police.

He advised The Day by day Telegraph that he would define “a number of” examples of bullying and intimidation, in some circumstances involving public cash.

“I stand by what I’ve mentioned. No quantity of gas-lighting will change that,” he advised the newspaper.

“The provide of Quantity 10 to analyze is variety however I shall depart it to the consultants. I’m assembly the police early subsequent week.”

Former Tory MP Jerry Hayes threw his help behind Mr Wragg and mentioned the claims must be investigated.

Mr Hayes advised the BBC: “We’ve received William Wragg, who is definitely a severe determine, he’s not a snowflake, he’s not somebody who can simply be bullied.

“One thing has occurred and he’s gone all the best way to the Metropolitan Police. I simply hope that now we have an investigation. If he’s gone to the Metropolitan Police there have to be one thing there, in any other case his profession falls aside, doesn’t it?”

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A Metropolitan Police spokesman mentioned: “As with every such allegations, ought to a prison offence be reported to the Met, it might be thought of.”

Boris Johnson is going through calls to resign over lockdown drinks events (Stefan Rousseau/PA) / PA Wire

Mr Wragg’s newest intervention comes as No 10 is braced for the anticipated supply subsequent week of the report of Sue Grey, the senior civil servant investigating lockdown events in Downing St elsewhere in Whitehall.

It’s more likely to result in renewed calls from opposition events for a police investigation if there may be any proof Covid guidelines had been damaged – together with at a drinks do in Might 2020 attended by Mr Johnson.

Mr Wragg, one in all seven Tory MPs to have known as publicly for the Prime Minister to resign, shocked Westminster together with his allegations this week of a marketing campaign of intimidation by No 10 amounting to prison conduct.

He mentioned Conservative MPs attempting to set off a no confidence vote in Mr Johnson had been advised public funding for initiatives of their constituencies can be minimize off and threatened with tales within the press to embarrass them.

Christian Wakeford, the Bury South MP who defected to Labour, later described how the Tory whips had warned him over funding for a brand new faculty in his constituency if he rebelled in a vote over free faculty meals.

Christian Wakeford mentioned Tory whips threatened to withdraw funding for a faculty in his constituency (Home of Commons/PA) / PA Wire

Ministers have sought to dismiss the allegations, insisting the whips had no function within the allocation of public funding.

Enterprise Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng nonetheless acknowledged on Friday that Mr Wakeford’s allegation was “very severe” and he was “certain” that it might be investigated.

However a spokesman for the Prime Minister mentioned: “We’re not conscious of any proof to help what are clearly severe allegations.

“If there was any proof to help it, it might after all be checked out.”

The newest disclosures will solely gasoline the febrile temper at Westminster, with Mr Johnson’s political survival hanging within the steadiness.

Mr Wakeford’s defection appeared to have put the plotting on maintain as Tory MPs publicly rallied behind the management, whereas the rebels largely went to floor.

Nonetheless the publication of Ms Grey’s report represents one other second of hazard, probably triggering a recent wave of letters to the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady.

Underneath celebration guidelines there shall be a confidence vote in Mr Johnson if 54 of the celebration’s MPs write to Sir Graham calling for one.

Mr Johnson is predicted to spend the weekend at Chequers, his official nation residence, ringing spherical potential rebels urging them to not plunge the dagger.

The Instances reported the Prime Minister had reassembled the ministerial group which helped him mount his profitable management bid in 2019 as he seeks to shore up help.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is reportedly taking part in key function within the operation together with three former whips and different loyalists.

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