Police will not investigate Tory MPs' claims they were blackmailed by Number 10, Scotland Yard says

Credit: PA

Police will not launch an investigation into claims by a senior Tory MP that he and Conservative colleagues had been blackmailed by Number 10, Scotland Yard has confirmed.

MP William Wragg claimed Number 10 staff had threatened him and other backbenchers over their opposition to Boris Johnson.

The Metropolitan Police said: "The information has been carefully assessed by specialist detectives who have determined that no criminal offences have been identified and therefore no investigation will be commenced."

Mr Wragg, who chairs the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said on January 20 that government staff, special advisers and ministers had said there would be embarrassing stories released to the press if MPs did not support the prime minister.

He also said Number 10 had threatened to withdraw funding to his and other backbenchers' constituencies if they did not withdraw their opposition to Mr Johnson.

"The intimidation of a member of Parliament is a serious matter", he said, adding: "The reports of which I'm aware would seem to constitute blackmail."

"As such it would be my general advice to colleagues to report these matters to the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police."

Has the Met's decision to consider investigating the No 10 Christmas quiz shifted the mood among already nervous Tory backbenchers? ITV News Correspondent Romilly Weeks explains

The Met confirmed it had "received information related to concerns of inappropriate influence being exerted on Members of Parliament".

But it said an investigation would not be considered unless "further significant information become(s) available".

Prime Minister Johnson, at the time the accusations were made said there is "no evidence to support any of those allegations".

Number 10 may have escaped a police investigation on this occasion, but the partygate probe is still hanging over the government.

Officers are investigating 12 Downing Street events alleged to have broken lockdown rules during the pandemic, with a conclusion expected within weeks.