At last the report of the Commons’ Partygate Inquiry has been published and it says what we all knew: Boris Johnson lied repeatedly and brazenly about the fact that parties took place in Downing Street while families across the country were locked down and could not properly handle their loved ones’ deaths of Covid-19.
The report recommended that Johnson be suspended from Parliament, not just for the 10 days that would have triggered a by-election in his constituency (he has resigned as an MP anyway) but for 90 days – a quarter of a year.
Two of the committee wanted Johnson expelled altogether, but this was vetoed by the four Conservative MPs on the panel, which suggests bias for party political purposes (at least, it does to me).
It seems unlikely he’ll get a former members’ pass, which provides limited access to the House of Commons for former MPs to visit colleagues and have meals – but MPs will have to vote on this.
But these are all secondary issues.
The main concern is that a man who is a habitual liar was allowed to occupy the highest office in the United Kingdom and to make a mockery of its powers and privileges.
This Writer thinks a further investigation should be carried out, into how such a despicable creature was allowed to rise through the ranks of any political party.
We all knew what he was. Sites like Vox Political spent years warning about him – but our concerns fell on deaf ears.
He was supported by chancers who saw opportunities for themselves in his rise, and he entered 10 Downing Street on the crest of a tidal wave of dishonesty unlike anything previously seen in this country.
As the Partygate Report states, the contempt he showed for Parliament (let alone the rest of the UK) was unprecedented because he was the prime minister.
He should never have got as far as he did – but he did. He should never have been allowed to do the things he did – but he was.
And it is entirely possible for others to follow in his footsteps and do the same.
Given the level of corruption shown by Johnson by his actions in taking part in Downing Street parties and then covering up the fact that they even took place, let alone any other questionable behaviour during his time in office, it seems clear that Parliament must clean up its act.
Yes, the inquiry has done its job, but the rot was allowed to set in for three years before anything could be done. That is far too long. A single day is too long.
The question is: how do we police Parliament, when its members and employees have demonstrated themselves to be inadequate in the job?
ADDITIONAL: It is good to see Johnson’s former employer, Max Hastings, telling BBC News (at c.11.35am, June 15) that while he welcomes the report, he feels as I do – that the people who put him in his position (not the voters; people in the Conservative Party and the media) need to be investigated/penalised/prevented from doing it again. Sadly, Sir Max (when was he knighted?) seems to think Rishi Sunak is an honourable person (in spite of evidence to the contrary), so this will be uphill work as those involved may be unable to see beyond their own biases.
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