Tag Archives: Downing

#BorisJohnson’s #Covid19 #Christmas booze-up: why won’t #CressidaDick investigate?

His most infamous comment: let’s not forget that Johnson is believed to have said “Let the bodies pile high in their thousands” months before the alleged Christmas party at Downing Street on December 18, 2020. They did: on the day of the party alone, 489 people died with Covid-19.

She doesn’t have to – she already has the names of everybody who attended and may start prosecutions whenever she wants. She just doesn’t want to.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We’re all aware of the situation, I hope: it emerged a few days ago that Boris Johnson hosted a huge Christmas Party at 10 Downing Street, with attendees packed together “cheek by jowl”, while the rest of London was on Tier 3 lockdown and on a day when 489 people died from Covid-19.

There is a question over why it took so long for this to come out; were political correspondents like the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg and ITV’s Robert Peston invited? If so, did they go? If so, is that the reason they didn’t report the breach of Covid regulations – that they were as guilty as everybody else? If so (again), then they should not be in the jobs they have if they’re so quick to lay themselves open to compromising situations so easily.

Downing Street has said that all the rules in force at the time were observed, but this cannot be true; if there was any kind of party involving many people, then the rules were broken.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick – now there’s a woman who has compromised herself thoroughly for the Tory government! – initially refused to investigate the alleged incident, saying she had not received a complaint about it.

Judging from the volume of entries in This Writer’s Twitter feed, that situation has now been rectified. Here’s just one example:

So, it seems, she has changed her tune and is now saying that the police don’t investigate crimes retrospectively.

Sorry, what?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but police can only ever investigate crimes retrospectively! They have to have been committed before any detection work can happen at all. We don’t have any Minority Report-style ‘pre-crime’ units (and that’s just as well because the film suggested that it wouldn’t work if we did)!

So it’s a nonsense excuse.

Furthermore, it has been pointed out that Downing Street is under police guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Everybody entering has to be signed in; everybody leaving has to be signed out.

So the police already have a list of everybody who attended the alleged party on December 18, 2020 – or should have.

Perhaps they destroyed it. That would be embarrassing because there are possible situations in which such lists may be required in the name of national security.

Perhaps Ms Dick’s name is on it. That would also be embarrassing.

In any event, officers on duty would have seen the people going in, and they must have seen the state of them by the time those people left. If all else fails, those officers could be interviewed.

What has become abundantly clear, though, is that nobody with the ability to do it has even the slightest interest in investigating the allegation that a boozy party happened in Downing Street during lockdown, meaning the prime minister of the UK broke his own rules.

That fact alone makes Johnson look as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo.

It also indicates that we have people in positions of authority whose only interest is in abusing those positions for their own personal gratification – and in protecting each other from the consequences if those abuses are discovered.

It’s bitterly offensive to all the families whose loved ones died alone that day because Johnson’s rules for the rest of us required family members to be distanced from their relatives who had contracted the virus.

It would be foolish of us to believe that Boris Johnson, Cressida Dick, or anybody who attended that alleged party, cares about their loss in any way at all.

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No, Tories: Downing Street Christmas parties ARE important to us. They’re about your HYPOCRISY

This is a terrible image with which to illustrate this story, as Johnson’s glass was only filled with water (we’re told), it’s not in Downing Street, and the parties there were allegedly packed full of people. But it’s the only one I have in which he’s got a drink in his hand.

The UK’s Tory government has had a busy few days trying to live down its latest scandals:

I’ll cover the latest Hancock scandal in another article. As for the Downing Street parties:

According to the Mirror, Boris Johnson hosted a series of parties at Downing Street during November and December 2020, where attendees were packed “cheek by jowl” with each other in direct defiance of Johnson’s own Covid-19 social distancing rules – rules that the rest of us were under legal obligation to obey.

While London was under Tier 3 restrictions, Tories knocked back bucketloads of wine, played party games and received presents from their Secret Santa.

Around “40 or 50” people were said to have been crammed “cheek by jowl” into a medium-sized room in Number 10 for each of the two events.

“It was a Covid nightmare,” one source claimed.

[And a source] even suggested there were “always parties” in the flat Mr Johnson shares with wife, adding: “Carrie’s addicted to them”.

The party on December 18 last year took place on a day when 489 people died with Covid-19.

They were isolated from their families, meaning hundreds of people were prohibited from saying a last goodbye to their loved ones while Tories raved it up “cheek by jowl” in Downing Street.

Take a look at the way some of the Tories have been trying to sideline the issue:

They’re all completely wrong about whether the public are interested. Whether it’s an outright lie or they’ve been misled is another matter. Start typing an internet search on Downing Street and you won’t have to go through many letters before “Downing Street Christmas Party” is displayed.

lot of people have been looking for information on this.

One question that needs to be answered is: where where the political reporters from the mainstream media when these parties were taking place? Did they attend? And if so, did they fail to report on this scandalously hypocritical breach of Covid-19 regulations because they were too hungover afterwards, or for some other reason?

Inquiring minds want to know. How sad that the journalists in question should be among the most inquiring minds in the whole of the UK, and they simply haven’t bothered to mention this for almost a year.

And now Boris Johnson is telling us to go ahead with our own Christmas parties this year, in spite of the threat his advisors reckon is posed by the Omicron variant; in spite of the fact that nearly 54,000 people in the UK were found to be infected with Covid-19 on December2; and in spite of the fact that the UK has the highest infection and death rate of any western European nation.

There’s also the fact that Johnson didn’t bother cancelling everybody else’s Christmas until the day after he had his big Downing Street blowout – December 19 last year. We simply can’t trust him to stick to his word – especially as we can’t trust his government to protect us from the virus.

Finally, it seems there’s no point getting too het up about the prime minister having a huge piss-up in Downing Street while hundreds of our loved ones were dying alone, because the chief of London’s police has already announced that she won’t be investigating the allegations:

This Site has asserted many times that Dick is not fit to be Metropolitan Police Commissioner. Personally, I think she is too corrupt to be a serving police officer of any kind at all.

Her announcement is symptomatic of the whole corrupt set-up in Westminster now.

It really is one rule for them and another for us, enforced by their minions in the police.

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Downing Street tries to pressurise INDEPENDENT standards watchdog not to investigate Johnson’s flat redecoration

What would these freebies have cost? Boris Johnson doesn’t want you to know but it isn’t up to him or his Downing Street toadies – and they don’t like it one bit.

How can these Tories rise so high and still not understand the meaning of the word “independent”?

Officials working for Boris Johnson have claimed that there is no need for the independent Parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Stone, to investigate who paid for the redecoration of the prime minister’s Downing Street flat.

They also reckon she shouldn’t look into the monetary value of the villa in Marbella that Zac Goldsmith loaned to him while he pretended he was Van Gogh for a week last month.

They gave reasons which seem like nonsense to This Writer.

And the fact is that, only last week, Tory MPs were trying to bully Ms Stone into resigning from her role, after she found Owen Paterson guilty of corruption. She didn’t; she’s unlikely to cave in to this kind of weak argument either.

It is not for Downing Street yes-people to tell the standards commissioner what she can and cannot investigate; it is for her to tell them.

And if she finds against Johnson, it’s for him to take his punishment like a man, for a change.

Source: No 10 says watchdog should not look into PM’s flat renovation | Boris Johnson | The Guardian

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‘If Johnson refuses to save our bacon, farmers should dump pig carcasses outside Number 10’

Pigs in peril: yes, I’m using the same image as before – of a pig that looks like Boris Johnson. It’s to establish a ‘running theme’ between stories on this topic.

A shortage of butchers and abattoir workers caused by Brexit means 4,500 pigs are likely to be culled within days – and the government isn’t even talking to farmers.

It seems the government is not only failing to help the UK’s livestock farmers; it is refusing to help them.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s only reaction to the crisis was a poor taste comment last week that the pigs would have become “bacon sandwiches” anyway – stupidly missing the point that they’re not going to become any kind of foodstuff at all.

Meanwhile, it seems his government is failing to help the UK farming industry – which faces implosion – while signing trade deals with foreign countries for substandard food.

It seems this is the true meaning behind the Brexit slogan about “Taking back control”: destroying the UK farming industry and buying bad food from abroad.

For a snapshot of the situation, watch this BBC interview with a pig farmer – and take note of the comment on Twitter that this is someone who campaigned for Brexit . Undoubtedly this person is now regretting turning a blind eye to Johnson’s lies:

Personally, I like Sam Brook’s suggestion of how farmers should deal with this issue:

It really is the only way to bring the situation home to Boris Johnson: dump it on his doorstep. Do any of our farmers have the guts to do it?

UPDATE October 12, 2021: Minutes after this story went up, a Facebook commenter wrote: “Don’t do that – we know what those Tory boys do with dead pigs.”

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Johnson to strip Electoral Commission of power to prosecute after it threatens action over his flat

Tinpot dictator: Boris Johnson wants to strip the Electoral Commission of its power to prosecute law-breaking – not because it is a bad idea, because it isn’t. He’s doing it because the commission may use this power to prosecute HIM over the funding of his Downing Street flat refurbishment.

Of course Boris Johnson is taking away the Electoral Commission’s power to prosecute people because it criticised him. It’s what he does.

Look at his current attack on the courts’ powers of judicial review. That happened entirely because judicial reviews ruled that he had broken the law by proroguing Parliament, and with his Brexit policy.

He is a classic, small-minded, tinpot, banana-republic dictator. His only function is to satisfy his own personal desires and to attack anybody who frustrates those desires.

And the UK’s voters put him in charge of one of the world’s richest and most powerful countries. Perhaps a few million people need to take their vote a little more seriously next time?

Boris Johnson is to strip the Electoral Commission of the power to prosecute law-breaking, just weeks after it launched an investigation into his controversial flat refurbishment.

Ministers have announced that a new Elections Bill will remove its ability to prosecute criminal offences under electoral law – arguing it “wastes public money”.

The watchdog launched an immediate protest, warning the move would “place a fetter on the Commission which would limit its activity”.

The shake-up was condemned as a “thinly-veiled government power grab” by the Electoral Reform Society.

Source: Electoral Commission to be stripped of power to prosecute after probe into Boris Johnson’s flat makeover | The Independent

After Lord Geidt’s whitewash, Labour wants INDEPENDENT probe on Downing Street flat redecoration

Good advice: Boris Johnson can say what he likes about his alleged breaches of the ministerial code, but nobody in their right mind would take only his word for it.

Labour will be like a dog with a bone over Tory corruption.

You know why?

The party can’t attack the Tory government over its incompetent hnadling of Covid-19 because Keir Starmer supported every duff decision Boris Johnson made (until the evidence revealed those choices to have been homicidal).

And Starmer can’t criticise the Tories over Brexit because his choice of policy contributed to Labour’s spectacular loss of the 2019 general election. He would just be inviting ridicule.

But Tory corruption is a different matter.

And the controversy over the redecoration of the Downing Street Flat occupied by Boris (and Mrs) Johnson, dubbed “Wallpapergate” due to the enormous cost of the wallpaper they chose – more than £800 per roll – was only ever likely to get worse after the prime minister was cleared of wrongdoing by a man who is his employee.

And Labour has found a way to make this an actual Double Whammy.

Not only has Labour reported Johnson to the independent Parliamentary standards commissioner, but it has pointed out that he was warned to face stronger sanctions after a previous transgression.

He had failed to declare shares in a property by the deadline required for it to appear in the relevant register of MPs’ interests.

At the time, standards commissioner Kathryn Stone had reprimanded Johnson. She also warned that any further breaches may warrant “more serious sanction”.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, reminded Ms Stone of this in her letter requesting an independent investigation into Johnson’s failure to register a donation by Tory donor Lord Brownlow to pay for the flat redecoration.

She wrote: “Far from learning the lessons of his previous transgressions, the prime minister has continued with his attitude of treating basic standards of integrity, openness and transparency with contempt, and behaving as though there is one rule for him and another for everyone else.”

And she said the fact that Mr Johnson told Lord Geidt he became aware of the donations for the works on the flat in February this year but did not settle the invoices personally until March 8 suggests he is in breach of parliamentary rules on declaring donations that all MPs must follow.

Ms Stone is already investigating whether Mr Johnson properly declared a £15,000 holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique with his now-wife Carrie.

Johnson is also facing two other inquiries into the flat refurbishment.

The Electoral Commission is investigating whether the Conservative Party broke the rules on declaring donations over the Downing Street flat and has the power to issue a fine of up to £20,000.

And Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, the UK’s top civil servant, is also examining whether donations were properly declared.

And it will only get worse for Johnson because he won’t stop breaking the rules. It seems he genuinely thinks he’s above the law.

Still, it’s great for political commentators like This Writer. It guarantees me stories for years to come.

As for you… if you like that sort of thing, I recommend you buy popcorn – in a regular supply.

Source: Labour demands further probe into Boris Johnson’s flat revamp – BBC News

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Lord Geidt clears his employer Boris Johnson of ministerial code breaches. He would, wouldn’t he?

We all know the Tories think we’re stupid; accept this nonsense at face value and they’ll know it’s true.

A Tory peer, Lord Geidt, has apparently carried out an internal party review of the way refurbishment of the 11 Downing Street flat (occupied by Boris Johnson) was funded and found that Johnson – who is his boss, let’s not forget – was innocent of any wrongdoing.

And nobody should believe a word of it.

Geidt said the Cabinet Office paid the costs and charged them to the Conservative Party, on the understanding that a trust was being set up to provide the funds.

This trust was never set up and the bulk of the cash came from Lord Brownlow, a Tory donor and former vice-chairman of Johnson’s Conservative Party from 2017 to July 2020 – as had been claimed in press reports.

With regards to the flat, [Geidt] said: “It is clear from the record that while a serious and genuine endeavour, the trust was not subjected to a scheme of rigorous project management by officials.

“Given the level of the prime minister’s expectations for the trust to deliver on the objects he had set, this was a significant failing.

“Instead, the prime minister – unwisely, in my view – allowed the refurbishment of the apartment at No 11 Downing Street to proceed without more rigorous regard for how this would be funded.”

In other words, Johnson claimed ignorance of the situation – but ignorance is no excuse.

Besides, he told us he had paid for the works himself, and that is plainly a lie.

He gets £30,000 a year as an allowance for such works – more than most of us earn in full-time work – and it still wasn’t enough. Reports suggest that the changes to the Downing Street flat cost around £200,000 in total.

Still, the Electoral Commission has launched its own investigation.

The commission said it was “satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect than an offence or offences may have occurred”.

At the end of the day, it wouldn’t have matter what Geidt found, as power to decide whether a breach of the ministerial code has occurred rests with the prime minister – Johnson himself.

Knowing how corrupt he is, we know that he was never going to admit an offence that may require him to resign from his job.

We are left with several conclusions:

That Johnson is guilty as sin, that the government is utterly corrupt because he is leading it, and that Geidt and Brownlow have implicated themselves in that corruption by whitewashing their boss.

Source: Boris Johnson was ‘unwise’ to allow flat refurbishment ‘without more rigorous regard for how this would be funded’, report finds | Politics News | Sky News

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Tory hypocrisy: they can’t sort out fire safety in your flat after Grenfell, but support huge payments to redecorate Johnson’s

Grenfell: this is what happens when inflammable cladding on tower blocks catches fire. Tenants in many more blocks have had this stuff inflicted on them, and the Tories want to force them to pay to get rid of it.

Isn’t it typical of the Tories that they’re happy to nod through possibly corrupt funding of Boris Johnson’s flat redecoration, but won’t protect people in blocks of flats from fires like that at Grenfell Tower?

They have just been knocked back – yet again – by the House of Lords, who have voted to shield residents of tower blocks from fire safety costs.

MPs had rejected the Lords amendment but, after their fourth defeat on this subject, it will now be reinserted into the bill.

The bill modifies a previous law to clarify that building owners must manage and reduce the risk of fire in their properties.

However, last week the House of Lords added an amendment which sought to ensure building owners do not pass on the costs to leaseholders and tenants until a support scheme is in place.

Housing minister Chris Pincher described the amendment as “ineffective and defective”, claiming that it would prevent any remediation costs from being passed to the leaseholder, even in instances where the cost was very minor – such as replacing a smoke alarm.

As a tenant in a rented property myself, I can inform Mr Pincher that my landlord pays for the cost of replacing the smoke alarm here as a matter of course.

It should not be used as an excuse to continue denying tower block tenants improvements that could save their lives.

And it could – because there are only hours left before the end of the current Parliamentary session, when the Bill will be dropped – unless the Tories decide to carry it over to the next session (which seems unlikely to This Writer).

All of this takes place in the shadow of the row over prime minister Boris Johnson’s own flat. Who pays to replace the smoke alarm there?

Tory MPs would have been happy to let £200,000 be paid, just to redecorate the rooms above 11 Downing Street, with no questions asked.

But members of the public have pointed out that this means they are happier for huge amounts to be paid on a single person’s flat – if that person happens to be one of them – than for cash to be spent on potentially life-saving work for many people.

That’s not a good attitude to have with an election next week.

Source: Grenfell: Government defeated on fire safety costs bill – BBC News

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Let the ridicule pile high: social media destroy Boris Johnson over Downing Street flat redecoration

Loadsamoney: the controversy over Boris Johnson’s flat has concentrated attention on the fact that Tories always find cash for their own benefit, while depriving members of the general public of the funding that a proper government should provide to them.

The Electoral Commission has announced that it is investigating the funding of redecoration work on Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat, saying it has “reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred”.

And our friends on the social media have gone into satire overdrive.

Today they have targeted the prime ministerial consort, Carrie Symonds, under the hashtag #CarrieAntoinette – on the grounds that she was the driving force behind the astonishingly-expensive changes.

So we see this:

And, indeed, this:

The claim that Symonds demanded the use of wallpaper costing £840 per roll has been particularly inflammatory:

Many have pointed out the hypocrisy of being funded with huge amounts of cash to pay for the redecoration of a Tory prime minister’s flat, while the Tory government still refuses to fund safety improvements to blocks of flats afflicted with inflammable cladding that makes them as likely to go up in flames as Grenfell Tower (due to decisions by Tories, most likely):

But possibly the best snipe of the lot came from department store chain John Lewis:

The image is of a John Lewis van outside the gates of Downing Street.

The way events are moving, in a few days we’ll be seeing a removal van there.

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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Incredible sulk: and Johnson will have a lot to sulk about if MPs tighten rules on lying

Temper, temper: Boris Johnson lost his rag in PMQs over repeated accusations of dishonesty and sleaze. Trouble is, his outburst contained at least one more false claim.

It had to happen at a Prime Minister’s Questions that This Writer didn’t see.

For once, Labour leader Keir Starmer had a good week – but then, with the kind of ammunition he has been provided over the last few days, he could hardly go wrong.

He spent most of his time on the financing of renovations to Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat. Questions over the origin of £60,000 of funding were asked months ago and not answered.

Now, Starmer asked directly whether the money – now pegged at £58,000 – was put up by Lord Brownlow – and Johnson failed to answer directly.

Rather than saying whether Brownlow had any involvement, he simply asserted – repeatedly – that he himself had “covered the cost”.

It would be entirely possible for Johnson to have “covered the cost” after receiving the money from a third party – and the fact that he did not flatly deny any involvement by Brownlow means his claim is meaningless.

But it may be Starmer’s first question that turns out to have been the bigger bear-trap. He asked whether it was true that Johnson had said he would rather have “bodies piled high” than implement another lockdown.

Johnson answered with a categorical “no”, coupled with a demand for Starmer to bring forward any evidence he had.

That may seem fairly straightforward.

But then Starmer said he would follow up on his question in the future.

And then the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford waded into the fray. Acknowledging that MPs aren’t allowed to directly accuse each other of dishonesty, he simply asked Johnson to say whether he is a liar or not.

And Johnson wouldn’t:

As you can see from the clip, first he tried to worm out of answering by querying whether the question was in order – it was.

Then he (again) questioned the evidence of him having done as Blackford (and Starmer) had suggested.

And then he responded that he had not said those words (leading us all to conclude that they may be a close paraphrase of whatever he really said).

Under this kind of pressure, perhaps it should come as no surprise that, while responding to Starmer’s claim that he was “Major Sleaze”*, Johnson underwent what might be described as a “sulk-out” – a two-minute rant that failed to address what he had been asked…

… including another false claim – that Starmer had voted against the Tory government’s Brexit deal.

And this is important, because…

As a result of all these accusations of dishonesty, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has supported a plan to enforce the rules on misleading Parliament.

Amid a fresh row over the prime minister’s “lies” to MPs, Lindsay Hoyle supported a proposal for the cross-party Commons Procedure Committee to look into “how perceived inaccuracies could be corrected” as quickly as possible.

This could create serious difficulties for Johnson, whose serial lies were mentioned on This Site very recently.

You see, Starmer is right – any minister who knowingly misleads Parliament – including the Prime Minister – is expected to offer their resignation.

If the Procedure Committee puts this expectation on a more formal basis – and Starmer produced the evidence that Johnson did make a comment to the effect that he would rather see multiple deaths than impose a lockdown – then that would signal the end of his premiership.

And it wouldn’t be a day too soon.

*That should be Major Corruption, as reported a few days ago by This Site (and others) – but perhaps Starmer was restricted from saying as much by Parliamentary rules (again).

Source: Boris Johnson Facing Tough New Rules To Force Him To Correct ‘Lies’ To Parliament | HuffPost UK

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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