It’s a question that deserves to be asked.
First we thought Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray was going to publish her report into alleged Covid-19 lockdown-breaking parties at 10 Downing Street early this week – possibly even on Monday.
Then the Metropolitan Police, under its Commissioner Cressida Dick (who went to the same university college as Boris Johnson), announced that after spending weeks saying it would not investigate the parties because they happened more than a year ago, it had now decided that it would.
Gray then hesitated, claiming she wanted to produce a report that could be published in full, as soon as Johnson received it.
And now the plods are saying they don’t want it to contain any information that could prejudice their inquiries.
The statement reads: “For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.
“The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed, but we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office, including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation.”
We may be justified in asking, if there was no request to delay the report, then where is it?
But the devil’s in the detail, of course. The main objective of the report is to tell us whether the alleged parties actually happened, whether Boris Johnson attended any of them, and whether he lied about them.
We know the answer to all three questions is yes; we just need it in official form.
But (again) with a criminal investigation taking place, the Met might wish to charge Johnson with a crime if police find that he attended such parties and a statement that he had done so, from the Cabinet Office, may be seen as prejudicial to its investigation.
So Ms Gray, it seems, is hamstrung and the report is delayed.
She could have published her report on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, when the Met wasn’t putting any conditions on it, but didn’t, and now she has lost her chance because of an organisation that wouldn’t be bothered to do anything when it was first asked.
That’s why this seems to be a premeditated delaying tactic.
It isn’t good enough; we should expect better from our national institutions.
If the police had investigated when they were first told to, they would have been finished by now and there would be no obstacle to the report being published.
If Sue Gray had published her report during the window of opportunity that was wide open for her between (let’s be honest) January 20 and today (January 28) any stipulations the police had would have been academic.
They have let us down. And when I say “us”, I mean they have let down everybody in the United Kingdom.
Now we must wait, presumably while Ms Dick shifts through the overwhelmingly-damning evidence, looking for an excuse to let her college buddy Boris off the hook.
Tory MPs who know that their chances of being re-elected depend on Johnson’s near-magical abilities as a confidence trickster, hoodwinking voters into thinking he is worth electing, will be hoping that we all forget about his lies and the treachery of the parties he hosted while the rest of us sat in isolation, watching our relatives and loved ones die without even being able to sit in the same room with them.
They’ll get their wish if the media, also run by Tories, decide to ease the pressure.
So, the future of the United Kingdom – whether we continue to be run by a disreputable Tory liar – will be decided by disreputable Tory liars (remember, they all told us he would be a good prime minister, back in 2019).
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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