Boris Johnson finally shambled out to the Dispatch Box and attempted to apologise for attending the lawbreaking, lockdown-busting Downing Street party on May 20, 2020, during Prime Minister’s Questions.
He must have realised that he would not be able to avoid answering questions about it any more.
Before watching the clip, remind yourself of the context:
‘I have been repeatedly assured that there were no parties, and that no covid rules were broken. That was what I have been repeatedly assured’
The PM to the House of Commons on December 8, 2021.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) January 12, 2022
Bear that in mind when you watch Johnson put on his naughty-boy face and come out with this:
So he thought the “bring your own booze” party was a “work event”, did he? How stupid does he think we are, to believe that tripe?
NO WORK EVENT REQUIRES ANYONE TO BRING A BOTTLE.
— Emma Kennedy💙 (@EmmaKennedy) January 12, 2022
Did he think that, even though he must have received the emailed invitation (it’s technically the garden of his home; nothing happens there without his knowledge)?
Whether Johnson “saw” the invite isn’t the point. It is utterly implausible that the party was authorised without him giving the ok because it is his garden! Nothing like this happens in the No 10 garden without the PM or his wife agreeing
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) January 12, 2022
Of course @BorisJohnson could have asked his wife, Carrie Johnson, who was with him and drinking (gin, I’m told), whether they were at a party, if he wasn’t sure
— Robert Peston (@Peston) January 12, 2022
And take a look at this, which shows just how desperate the Tory justifications are becoming:
Conservative MP Matt Warman says “we never put a law in place that said you couldn’t go into your own garden”.
But the rules did say you couldn’t invite 100 people to join you.
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) January 12, 2022
I’m not convinced.
Neither were Keir Starmer, Ian Blackford, Karl Turner, Chris Bryant, Ed Davey or many, many other Opposition MPs. Here’s a montage of their comments:
Johnson did answer these questions – but not with anything that was worth hearing. I’ll put clips of the questions with answers up on my YouTube channel (hint: please subscribe).
Conservative MPs tried to fill PMQs with questions about anything else at all, in a vain attempt to distract from the sheer cringing awfulness of what their leader had admitted.
And then Safeguarding minister Rachael Maclean tried to justify it on the BBC’s Politics Live. Her attempted evasions were so bad they may actually qualify as comedy. See for yourself:
And it wasn’t enough, I hear.
Apparently the number of letters winging their way to the chair of the Conservative Party’s backbench 1922 committee is fast approaching the 54 necessary to trigger a leadership challenge:
Re letters of no confidence. The open talk among Tories about Boris Johnson going has exploded. We know of a handful of letters that have gone in but so many more I talk to want the PM gone. It’s timing for them. One has just texted to say theirs is “being written” now.
— Anushka Asthana (@AnushkaAsthana) January 12, 2022
1922 Committee says there could be a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson in days as the number of letters that have received from Tory MP's nears 53.
— JmRoyle #YNWA #BLM #GTTO (@MyArrse) January 12, 2022
Johnson’s so called apology has gone down badly even on his own side. It was such an obvious & insincere prevarication in a desperate attempt to play for time.I think the Tory backbenchers & those around Johnson recognise that it’s only a matter of time before he is forced out.
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) January 12, 2022
Oh, and apparently there was a meeting of the 1922 committee the evening after PMQs…
So there’s a meeting of the 1922 committee this evening?
Smart casual? Bring a bottle?
— TwoLegsBad (@TwoLegsBad2) January 12, 2022
So, politically speaking, is Johnson a dead man walking? We should know by the weekend.
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