Investors continue to mull mixed signals from the US Federal Reserve, continuing concerns about monetary policy tightening and a possible recession in the world’s largest economy
The BoE has spooked everyone by forecasting a peak in the rate above 13% this northern hemisphere autumn
Judge provided a temporary interdict against seizures until the industry’s internal appeal against the department’s decision that some labels are unlawful is complete.
The finance minister says the allegations are ‘fashioned to achieve narrow and selfish political ends’
Business Day TV spoke to Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala
Spending allocations to increase to R812bn for the next three years, says finance minister
Food Safety Agency tells retailers and food producers it will seize vegan products with names that it says are for meat
The referendums may be held as late as January because Russian troops haven’t taken full control of the areas the Kremlin seeks to claim as its own
Anrich Nortjé took three wickets in the space of 10 balls to rip through the heart of the English batting
The luxury champagne lounge and cocktail bar is serving up a decadent high tea
London — A former top foreign office official accused Boris Johnson’s office on Tuesday of lying over whether the British leader knew about earlier complaints of sexual misconduct made against a minister who resigned over his behaviour last week.
The claim will pile further pressure on Johnson over what he knew when he appointed Christopher Pincher to a role involved in enforcing discipline and offering pastoral care in the governing Conservative Party, at a time when many of his MPs are frustrated at his scandal-ridden administration.
“No 10 keep changing their story and are still not telling the truth,” Simon McDonald, who served as permanent under-secretary to the foreign office at the time Pincher was a junior minister there, said on Twitter.
McDonald said there was investigation into Pincher in 2019 and that “Mr Johnson was briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation”.
Pincher resigned as deputy chief whip last week saying he had drunk too much, embarrassed himself and “caused upset” to people. British media reported that Pincher had sexually assaulted two male guests at a London club.
Newspapers have since reported he had faced several previous allegations of sexual misconduct. Pincher, who has been suspended by the Conservative Party, has not responded to requests for comment.
Last week, Johnson’s office said he was not aware of any specific complaints against Pincher before appointing him, before on Monday saying he was aware of “some allegations that were either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint”.
“In the absence of a formal complaint it was not appropriate to stop an appointment on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations,” Johnson’s spokesperson said on Monday.
McDonald said Johnson’s office was making “inaccurate claims”.
“In the summer of 2019, shortly after he was appointed minister of state at the foreign office, a group of officials complained to me about Mr Pincher’s behaviour ... An investigation upheld the complaint; Mr Pincher apologised and promised not to repeat the inappropriate behaviour,” he said in a letter to the parliamentary commissioner for standards.
“Mr Johnson was briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation,” he said. “Mr Pincher was not exonerated. To characterise the allegations as ‘unsubstantiated’ is therefore wrong.”
Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab, who was foreign secretary at the time of the 2019 complaint against Pincher, said on Tuesday it had not resulted in formal disciplinary action and that he was not aware Johnson had been told about it.
“Mr Pincher deceived me and others in 2019,” McDonald said in the letter, which he posted on Twitter. “He cannot be allowed to use the confidentiality of the process three years ago to pursue his predatory behaviour in other contexts.”
Would you like to comment on this article? Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.