Amid the 'Partygate' uproar, new doubts about Boris Johnson's truthfulness surfaced on Wednesday - albeit in a different case.

Two emails leaked to the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Commons suggest that the Prime Minister - contrary to previous claims - personally campaigned for an acquaintance of his wife, animal rights activist Paul Farthing.

The former soldier had managed to get on one of the last planes to the UK with 150 dogs from his Kabul shelter at the height of evacuations from Afghanistan.

Jochen Buchsteiner

Political correspondent in London.

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The episode caused widespread outrage in the summer. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said shortly before the dogs were evacuated that "animals would not be put above people". Johnson later asserted several times that he had not personally intervened in the matter. The email that has now surfaced, written by an employee of Johnson confidante Zac Goldsmith, speaks of a "Prime Minister's decision" to help the animal charity. A government spokesman said on Wednesday: "It remains the case that the Prime Minister has given no instructions to act in any particular way."

Movement was also recorded on Wednesday in the so-called party affair. Despite initial hesitation, there were growing indications in the Prime Minister's Office that the eagerly awaited investigative report on "Partygate" would be published later that day. Scotland Yard announced on Tuesday that it would launch its own investigation and investigate possible violations of Covid 19 rules. The police had previously received the apparently largely completed Gray report.

Newspapers reported that Gray had gathered new, potentially incriminating information, including text messages and a photograph said to show Johnson at a wine-loving gathering at Downing Street.

Politicians from the opposition, but also MPs from the ruling party, will pay particular attention when reading it to see whether it contains evidence that the House of Commons has been misled.

This would significantly increase the pressure on the head of government, because the rules of conduct for ministers qualify deliberately misinforming parliament as a reason for resignation.

Meanwhile, negotiations are apparently taking place behind the scenes as to how the police should conduct their "Partygate" investigations in Downing Street. So far it is unclear whether Johnson will be questioned personally - and if so, whether as a witness or suspect. In the second case, he could be advised to testify in the presence of a lawyer. In the recent history of British democracy, only Tony Blair has found himself in a similar position. By the end of his tenure, police had been investigating whether the Labor Party had received any hidden benefits in exchange for House of Lords nominations. Blair successfully pleaded at the time to be questioned only as a witness. An interrogation as a suspect would lead to his resignation, it was argued in Downing Street at the time.

 Many Tories have pegged support for a no-confidence vote against Johnson on the results of the Gray report. 54 deputies would suffice. In the vote that will probably follow quickly, at least 180 MPs – half of the parliamentary group – would have to vote against Johnson. No such majority emerged when Johnson appeared in the House of Commons on Wednesday. In a lively debate marked by sharp questions from the opposition leader and belligerent replies from the Prime Minister, Johnson received vocal support from his group.

 Several conservative politicians spoke out in favor of Johnson in interviews.

It was noticeable that many pointed out the gap between the party allegations and the prime minister's political achievements.

Johnson is doing a "fantastic job," said Secretary of State Liz Truss, referring to the achievement of Brexit, the vaccination campaign and economic growth.

Johnson himself spoke about the Ukrainian border crisis during the House of Commons debate.

His government is currently trying to "bring the West together" in order to achieve the toughest possible sanctions package against Russia.

He accused opposition leader Keir Starmer of clinging to party allegations while he was trying to "get on with the job".

Johnson ended the rhetoric by saying Starmer was "an advocate, not a leader."

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