Tag Archives: Caulfield

Mocking laughter for Tory MP who said Johnson didn’t believe there was wrongdoing over Partygate

Straight-faced: Maria Caulfield presented the appearance of someone who genuinely believed Boris Johnson has not broken Covid-19 rules and lied about it – but the Question Time audience took a markedly different view.

So much for Tory insistence that the “heat” has gone out of the Partygate scandal!

Maria Caulfield, the Tory minister for patient safety and primary care, tried to repeat the mantra that Boris Johnson “didn’t believe there was any wrongdoing” in Downing Street when MPs and civil servants participated in lockdown-busting parties that he himself had forbidden in TV broadcasts.

Speaking on the BBC’s Question Time, she was greeted with mocking laughter from the studio audience when she said,

“I think misleading parliament, to be found guilty of that, it has to be a deliberate misleading, not inadvertently misleading.”

She insisted that Mr Johnson “has been very clear that there were wrongdoings around the Partygate situation” and “has apologised for that” and “made changes already to No 10”.

Pressed by another audience member on the fact that the prime minister had “held his hands up now, but only because he was found out”, Ms Caulfield claimed: “He genuinely did not believe that there was wrongdoing.”

You can see the reaction to that for yourself:

She was right that Johnson isn’t among those who have been fined for attending Downing Street parties – but failed to mention that only a first tranche of culprits have been punished. More will follow.

And the process has been delayed in some cases because it seems some senior civil servants and/or MPs are challenging a decision to fine them.

This could be because there is a question over whether the fines signify a criminal offence has been committed. If a challenge results in a court hearing that finds people guilty, they will definitely be guilty of a criminal offence.

So it could be that Ms Caulfield is simply spitting into the wind and her words may soon come back to haunt her if it turns out that she has been defending a criminal prime minister.

Source: Question Time: Tory MP mocked for claiming Johnson ‘didn’t believe there was wrongdoing’ over Partygate

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