Boris Johnson knew a misconduct grievance had been upheld in opposition to Chris Pincher when he promoted him to the whips workplace, No 10 has admitted.
But the prime minister’s spokesman denied Downing Street “lied’ when it claimed, last week, that he was unaware of any “specific allegations” in opposition to the minister.
Mr Johnson didn’t initially “recall” being advised concerning the grievance, he stated, including it was “a brief conversation that took place around three years ago”.
The spokesman additionally conceded the prime minister was advised of a separate allegation – when Mr Pincher was promoted in February – however argued that was “unsubstantiated”.
The newest twist to No 10’s model of occasions comes after the devastating intervention by a former head of the Foreign Office – who revealed Mr Johnson was briefed concerning the grievance in 2019.
In a letter, Simon McDonald wrote: “Mr Pincher deceived me and others in 2019. He cannot be allowed to use the confidentiality of the process three years ago to pursue his predatory behaviour in other contexts.”
But the prime minister’s spokesman continued to insist the details about Mr Pincher’s behaviour was no cause to bar him from the job as deputy chief whip, with duty for Tory MP’s welfare.
He rejected an allegation that he sacrificed an obligation of care to MPs and others with a purpose to get his “fixer” into the function, as he fought off makes an attempt to carry him down over the Partygate scandal.