Quantity 10 has denied Boris Johnson used to be absent from emergency coronavirus conferences as a result of he used to be striking in combination a biography of William Shakespeare.
Downing Boulevard pushed aside tips the high minister neglected COBRA conferences firstly of the COVID-19 pandemic remaining 12 months because of his paintings on a guide.
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It comes after The Sunday Instances reported govt officers worry Mr Johnson’s former leader adviser, Dominic Cummings, will make such an allegation when he offers proof to a gaggle of MPs this week.
The high minister neglected 5 COBRA conferences on COVID-19 originally of remaining 12 months.
In line with the newspaper, some throughout the Cupboard Administrative center are involved Mr Cummings will make the accusation that Mr Johnson used to be running on a guide on the time because the high minister wanted the cash from it to fund his divorce from Marina Wheeler, his 2nd spouse.
Then again, the high minister’s professional spokesman on Monday mentioned he used to be now not conscious about Mr Johnson having spent any time researching a guide on Shakespeare since getting into Quantity 10.
The spokesman added Mr Johnson has been “making sure the general public are stored as safe as imaginable throughout this international pandemic”.
Requested if paintings on a Shakespeare biography used to be liable for Mr Johnson lacking COBRA conferences in January 2020, the spokesman mentioned: “No, and I believe there are a variety of incidents I will be able to run you thru the place COBRAs were chaired by way of related secretaries of state.”
Mr Cummings’s look earlier than a joint COVID inquiry by way of two Area of Commons committees on Wednesday follows months of feuding between him and Downing Boulevard.
Since leaving Downing Boulevard in November remaining 12 months, Mr Cummings has used Twitter and his weblog to make a chain of allegations about Mr Johnson’s dealing with of the COVID disaster, together with his declare on the weekend that ministers at the beginning pursued a method of “herd immunity”.
However Mr Johnson’s spokesman mentioned: “Herd immunity from an infection hasn’t ever been govt coverage.”
Requested if the high minister believed Mr Cummings used to be a liar, the spokesman mentioned: “I have not requested him that query.”
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Mr Johnson used to be first reported to have signed a £500,000 guide deal to put in writing a biography about Shakespeare in 2015.
On the time, the guide used to be mentioned to be due for e-newsletter to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s loss of life in 2016.
In April 2019, earlier than Mr Johnson was high minister, writer Hodder & Stoughton mentioned the still-to-be-completed guide can be printed in April 2020.
However, later in 2019 at the day Mr Johnson was high minister, the writer admitted it had no plans to post “Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius” for the “foreseeable long run”.
In line with his sign up of economic pursuits as an MP, Mr Johnson incessantly receives royalties from Hodder & Stoughton and different publishers for books he has up to now written, which come with a biography of Winston Churchill.