Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray has published an update on her investigation into lockdown-busting parties at Downing Street – not the report of her inquiry – and it should still be enough to end Boris Johnson’s time as the UK’s worst-ever prime minister.
The update states that Ms Gray was asked to investigate 16 “gatherings” at 10 Downing Street or in its gardens, between May 2020 and April 2021, but she is unable to report in any meaningful way on her conclusions.
This is because the police are now investigating potential criminal offences that may have been committed as a result of 12 of those gatherings having taken place.
These include a birthday party for Johnson himself in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020.
They also include a so-called “Abba” party in the flat at 11 Downing Street that is inhabited by Johnson and his wife on November 13, 2020.
So the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is being investigated by the police for criminal offences. That alone should be enough to see him off.
Johnson is on the record, in Parliament, as having said he was unaware of any gatherings having taken place at all.
But he was present at his own birthday event (obviously) and in refusing to say he was not at the Downing Street flat on November 13, 2020, it may be inferred that he was tacitly admitting that he was there.
It seems clear that he has lied brazenly to Parliament and to the public about these insults to the people of the UK who were making huge sacrifices while he whooped it up at our expense.
But when he traipsed into the House of Commons and made his (lawyer-drafted?) statement, Johnson merely trotted out that tired old lie that the government would “learn the lessons” and said he’d create a new “Office of the Prime Minister”, as if that would end the corruption that oozes out of him wherever he goes.
And when the SNP’s Ian Blackford – correctly – accused him of lying and misleading Parliament, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle ordered the Scottish Nationalist out of the chamber.
But it seems clear that members of his own party know that Johnson’s time is up.
Former PM Theresa May made very good points:
Theresa May: "The public had a right.. to expect the Prime Minister to set an example in following those rules. Either my honourable friend had not read the rules, didn't understand the rules, or didn't think they applied to No10. Which was it?"
— Alan White (@aljwhite) January 31, 2022
And former Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell stood up to announce that Johnson has lost his confidence.
How many other Tories are thinking the same thing, even if they aren’t saying it?
It’s time to get those “no confidence” letters flowing in to Graham Brady.
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