Sources have revealed to the BBC that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was aware of a formal complaint made by British MP Chris Pincher about “inappropriate behaviour” when he was Britain’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs between 2019 and 2020.
Johnson’s knowledge of the incident was behind the disciplinary action taken to prove the British MP’s misconduct.
The BBC has also received information that Dominic Rabin, the then Member of Parliament and Britain’s Foreign Secretary, was also aware of the complaint.
The complaint raised fresh questions about whether the Prime Minister was aware of Pincher’s inappropriate behavior in front of the former deputy leader of Tory MPs.
A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the prime minister had seen media reports and some allegations about the former foreign secretary’s conduct “but they do not rise to the level of a formal complaint”.
He added that the matter was “somehow closed, and these kinds of issues are often addressed without mentioning the names of its parties.”
Sources told the BBC that Pincher apologized for his inappropriate behavior at the end of the disciplinary proceedings, but the British parliamentarian did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment on the incident when the reports were first published.
Pincher, the Conservative MP for Tamworth, was suspended last week following allegations of kidnapping two men at a private club in London.
Pincher resigned last Thursday as the former Conservative majority leader’s deputy for discipline. But he says he is seeking medical attention and has no plans to resign from the House of Commons.
The parliamentarian has denied several recent allegations of inappropriate behavior over the years.
Johnson had appointed Chris Pincher as Deputy Leader for Discipline of the Conservative Party Parliamentary Bloc, the post holder responsible for ensuring the discipline of the party’s representatives and their commitment to vote according to the party’s instructions in parliamentary voting processes. He reshuffled ministers last February.
Pincher also held the British Foreign Office from July 2019 to February 2020 in the Johnson government.
A formal complaint has been lodged against the former British minister for “improper conduct”.
The complaint follows a disciplinary process overseen by the Cabinet Office, which found the British minister at the time had engaged in inappropriate behaviour.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his then-deputy Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab were briefed on the results of the investigation as part of the disciplinary process, sources told the BBC.
The BBC has contacted the rap team for comment. “We have strict procedures in place to deal with allegations of misconduct,” the Ministry of External Affairs said. It is our longstanding policy not to comment on individual cases.
An official spokesman for the British prime minister said earlier that before appointing Pincher as deputy leader of the Conservative Party’s parliamentary bloc for discipline, the prime minister sought recommendations from the government’s values and ethics group, which is part of the prime minister. This selection, but the team expressed no objection to the appointment.
The British Prime Minister confirmed that “Boris Johnson was not aware of the specific allegations being considered and it would not be appropriate to suspend the appointment in the absence of a formal complaint”.
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