Liz Truss has rejected claims by Boris Johnson’s allies that the investigation into whether he lied to parliament about the Partygate scandal will be “a kangaroo court”.
No 10 appears to have mounted a whisper campaign against the pivotal investigation – after it announced that whistleblowers can anonymously prove what the prime minister knew.
Mr Johnson’s allies said: The Daily Telegraph of their fear that “hearsay evidence” will be used against him, and also wonder why Labor veteran Harriet Harman will chair the investigation.
A No 10 source told the paper it would be impossible for Mr Johnson to challenge anonymous evidence when he testifies before the House of Commons Privileges Committee in the fall.
“It’s crazy. Hearsay evidence is not in the spirit of it. How can you interrogate someone who didn’t show up? If you don’t trust the process, how can you trust the outcome?” the paper quoted a pro-Johnson MP as saying.
But Mrs Truss, the Secretary of State, dismissed questions about the credibility of the process – after Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also said he was pleased.
Asked if she was afraid of “a kangaroo yard,” Ms Truss . told Sky News: “No. We have these processes in Parliament. The process has started. We now have to wait for the outcome.”
She told the BBC radio 4: “We have to let that process continue. I implicitly trust that my parliamentary colleagues will listen carefully to the evidence and make the right decision.”
The foreign secretary also lashed out at colleagues who used foul language about the Russian leader after Johnson called him “bad” and Wallace said he had “small man syndrome.”
“I’ve never met Vladimir Putin. I don’t pretend I can do a psychological analysis on him, and I don’t think it’s helpful,” she said.
And, when asked about the prime minister’s argument that Putin wouldn’t have invaded if she were a woman, she said, “I believe that both men and women are capable of doing bad things.”
Ms Truss also hinted that the UK should send weapons to Taiwan, which is under threat from China, saying: “We need to learn the lessons of Ukraine. We could have ensured that a Ukraine had the defensive capability earlier.”
more to come