Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan has defended Boris Johnson after the most recent revelations on the partygate scandal.

Appearing on The News Agents podcast on Wednesday, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport insisted she was not worried about claims made in ITV’s podcast series, ‘Partygate: The Inside Story', ahead of an inquiry into whether Johnson misled parliament.

The former Prime Minster repeatedly told MPs that no Covid laws had been broken in Downing Street. But now he is facing allegations that he joked a Number 10 gathering, held in November 2020, was “the most unsocially distanced party in the UK right now”.

Mrs Donelan told hosts Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall: “I wasn’t there and I don’t know what Boris did or didn’t say, but I do know what Boris has said he’s said and that was very clear.

“We did have the Sue Gray report at the time as well and that looked into all of the alleged events. It was very thorough. There were also police investigations and this wasn’t referenced in any of that.

“A lot of the parties that people have spoken about were obviously happening when the Prime Minister wasn’t even in number ten, he was in Chequers at the time.”

During her appearance on the podcast Mrs Donelan also defended Jeremy Clarkson’s right to free speech in his controversial column in which he claimed he wished Meghan Markle would be paraded through British towns and shamed, during a discussion about her new online harm bill.

She told Emily Maitlis: “I in no way would associate myself with Jeremy Clarkson’s comments, I don’t agree with his comments at all. They were outrageous and look at the fallout that it got.

“But what I do stand up for is freedom of press and we shouldn’t be gagging commentators or journalists.

“We all have a responsibility when we use our words to think about the words that we’re using. Did Jeremy Clarkson make a mistake? Yes he did, but he certainly shouldn’t be outlawed or censored.”

Finally, Mrs Donelan criticised the Scottish government for passing reforms which would make it easier for people to change their legal gender.

She added: “It is really disappointing that Scotland have gone down this road. Having looked at the commentary and the inbox I’ve got from my own constituents in Wiltshire, who I think are sensible people and normally on the right side of history, they don’t agree with this one”.

The bill has been backed by LGBTQ+ groups such as Stonewall.