“She asks if I have confidence in the Prime Minister’s integrity and honour and I do.”

Michael Ellis (Paymaster General), House of Commons

January 11, 2022

Facts

Speaking after numerous new allegations about rule-breaking in Downing Street during lockdown emerged, Angela Rayner asked Michael Ellis if he “still believes the Prime Minister to be a man of honour and integrity”. 

Mr Ellis responded: “she asks if I have confidence in the Prime Minister’s integrity and honour and I do.” 

More than 17 parties were reported to have taken place in Downing Street while lockdown restrictions were in force. Mr Johnson is yet to take full responsibility for the rule-breaking and has refused to resign.  The Prime Minister is reportedly lining up staff to take the fall for the allegations, once Sue Gray’s report is published. Two Whitehall sources told the Independent that it has been broadly accepted within Downing Street that at least one senior political appointee and a senior official must be seen to leave their posts over the affair in order to save the Prime Minister.

Verdict 

Michael Ellis was doubtless telling the truth when he told the Commons that he had “confidence in the Prime Minister’s integrity and honour.” 

We approached Mr Ellis’ office and the Cabinet Office for comment, but received no reply.

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