AROUND a dozen previously undisclosed gatherings at both Chequers and Downing Street reportedly held during Covid have been referred to the police by civil servants.

The Guardian reports that further details of new partygate accusations have emerged as Boris Johnson’s allies leaped to his defence, forcing Downing Street to deny he was the victim of a politically motivated set-up.

Government sources told the newspaper that around 12 illegal events formed the basis of a dossier handed over to two police forces last week.

While it was initially believed all these events were held at the prime minister’s mansion Chequers, insiders have said they also took place in No 10.

They were said to include events that did not form part of the Met Police’s investigation last year nor the Whitehall inquiry led by Sue Gray.

No 10 has stressed that Rishi Sunak had no involvement in the decision to hand over the former prime minister’s pandemic diaries.

His official spokesperson said on Wednesday that “we have not seen the information or material in question” and added that ministers had “no involvement in this process and were only made aware after the police had been contacted”.

According to the Cabinet Office, police were contacted about the issue on May 16 with Thames Valley police saying they received a report about “potential breaches” on May 18.

Sunak found out the police had been informed about the events around some point on May 19 and when the latest facts became public on May 23.

Downing Street refused to be drawn on whether Johnson would lose the Tory whip should he be charged with further lockdown breaches, with Sunak’s press secretary saying No 10 would not respond to questions about a “hypothetical” scenario.

However, they were keen to stress that Sunak had not attended the event in contention at Chequers.

Asked whether the then chancellor broke Covid rules, his press secretary said: “No, definitely not.”

Johnson’s allies previously issued a warning to Sunak that they would meet on Wednesday to “discuss options” about how to force the Government to stop “witch-hunts”.

Supporters of the former PM accused the Cabinet Office of having signed off the decision to pass on Johnson’s diaries to police – an accusation which was denied by both Justice Secretary Alex Chalk and the Cabinet Office.

A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said: “Ministers played no role in deciding whether the information should be handed over to the police.”

Johnson had given the Government’s legal department a number of documents as they prepared his defence for the official public inquiry into the pandemic.

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However, when concerns were flagged to senior officials in the Cabinet Office, they felt obliged under the civil service code to refer the material to the police.

It’s been reported in the Daily Mail that Johnson has threatened to sue the Cabinet Office in retaliation.

He is still subject to an investigation by the privileges committee, which is looking into whether he misled parliament. This could lead to a suspension from parliament and a potential by-election.