County court order against Boris Johnson struck out

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Boris Johnson no longer has a county court judgement against him after his lawyers sought to strike out a claim for a £535 debt for alleged defamation.

Downing Street said the claim against the prime minister had been "totally without merit" and "vexatious".

The PM's lawyers lodged an application to have the judgement struck out.

A court official confirmed a CCJ was no longer present in the case after applications were considered by District Judge Hammond.

They said they were unable to provide further details.

Downing Street appeared to have been taken by surprise when the CCJ emerged on Wednesday, after being first reported by Private Eye magazine.

Official records showed an "unsatisfied record" for the unpaid debt was registered to Mr Johnson at "10 Downing Street", with the judgement dated 26 October last year.

An additional file showed the claim, for "defamation" and "committed repeated defamation", was made by an Yvonne Hobbs against "The Rt Hon Boris Johnson".

It was not clear how the case led to a CCJ being issued, as defamation cases would normally be heard in the High Court.

But the CCJ was issued by the online civil-claims court, which used to be known as the small claims court.

CCJs are issued in England and Wales when people fail to repay money they owe.

"If you get a judgement, this means that the court has formally decided that you owe the money," according to a government website.

It is likely letters about the alleged debt were sent to 10 Downing Street and not answered, and therefore no defence was offered, which would eventually have led to a CCJ being issued by default.

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