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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Glaze

Mr Loophole wants MPs to close loophole that could let Boris Johnson off hook

The celebrity lawyer nicknamed Mr Loophole has called on Parliament to close a clause which could let Boris Johnson off the hook over claims he lied to MPs.

The Prime Minister faces a probe by the Commons Privileges Committee that he deliberately misled Parliament over Partygate bashes in Downing Street, first revealed by the Mirror.

If he is found guilty, he would be expected to resign because he would have breached the Ministerial Code.

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But experts have warned the PM could escape censure because the standard of proof to demonstrate intent is so high.

Mr Johnson has already claimed his Partygate fine “did not breach" the Code as there was “no intent to break the law”.

The PM at one of the Partygate bashes he attended (PA)

Lawyer Nick Freeman, who found fame by winning A-listers’ driving cases in court by exploiting legal technicalities, fears Mr Johnson will wriggle free by insisting he did not mean to break the Code.

He said: “This loophole has saved Boris Johnson’s skin.

"At the moment, a breach in the Ministerial Code not only has to include what in law is known as ‘actus reus’ - the act itself - it also must demonstrate ‘mens rea’ - the criminal intent behind the action.

“The Prime Minister appears to be wriggling out of his predicament by using this loophole and claiming he did not intend to break the law.”

The high-profile solicitor, who forged a legendary legal career by exploiting little-known gaps in legislation, added: “There is nothing wrong with using a loophole to make a case.

“Loopholes are perfectly legitimate pieces of law – albeit law which might be largely unknown and so provide an effective and unexpected defence.

He could face a leadership confidence vote this week (Zuma Press/PA Images)

“As such, if the loophole is enshrined in the Code, there is nothing outlandish in Boris Johnson citing it as a defence.

“However if we want ministers to be accountable for criminal acts and ensure our elected representatives demonstrate the honesty and integrity required of their privileged position this loophole must be closed.”

Mr Johnson was fined £50 for attending a bash in the Cabinet Room to mark his 56th birthday in June 2020.

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