Tag Archives: Downing

Waiting for Sue Gray: here’s what we already know about Boris Johnson’s corruption

Boris Bull****: it seems the prime minister will try to fool us that he has “learned” his “lesson” after receiving a small fine for being at a single Downing Street party, being let off the hook for all the other events he attended, and lying brazenly to Parliament about what was going on. He is simply the most corrupt crook to have infested the highest office in the UK – and that’s saying a lot!

If Boris Johnson hoped the end of the Met Police investigation into parties at Downing Street during Covid-19 lockdowns would take the heat off him, he was mistaken. It has been turned up.

For a start, doubt has been cast on the police inquiry after images emerged of the prime minister taking part in events for which he was not fined. Were the police protecting Johnson because he is the prime minister, or giving him privileges not afforded to low-level civil servants because he could afford expensive lawyers? If so, then they were defying the basic principle of UK law that everybody should be treated equally. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has demanded a detailed explanation.

And former Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick has weighed in, stating that the public will want to know what more evidence the police needed to give the prime minister a fixed penalty notice, when the photos appear to show beyond reasonable doubt that he should have been issued with one.

People who attended the parties (and were presumably fined for doing so) have told the BBC and others about the party culture at Downing Street during the Covid lockdowns – a culture endorsed by Boris Johnson, they said, suggesting he “wanted to be liked” and for staff to be able to “let their hair down”, and that they felt they had the prime minister’s permission to socialise even it meant breaking the rules because “he was there.”

It’s not surprising that civil servants are starting to speak out: as is now normal in Boris Johnson’s regime, it is the staff and special advisors who have taken the blame for Partygate rather than the politicians who permitted and participated in the parties. A large majority of the 83 people fined by the police were officials, and Johnson’s backroom team has also suffered a “brutal purge” over the last six months.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case – a close Johnson ally – is safe, though, despite speculation on his future. It seems that after Johnson’s ministers withdrew permission for him to give evidence on Partygate to a committee of MPs, his job is not in danger.

Meanwhile, not a single politician has lost their job. Rishi Sunak simply decided he didn’t feel like stepping down after being fined, and Johnson seems determined to corruptly give himself the all-clear for lying to Parliament, if he is a accused of breaking the Ministerial Code. You see, as prime minister, he is in charge of deciding whether anybody has broken it, including himself.

Tory MPs seem split, though. Environment Secretary George “Useless” Eustice has said he expects “nothing new” to come from the report and that he hopes its publication will allow the government to put the scandal behind it, despite all the loose ends that are still dangling about the lies told by Johnson, the possibility of a Met Police cover-up, and the fact that the Tory government tacitly, if not openly, endorsed the party culture.

But critics are said to be relaunching their bid to oust Johnson by triggering a leadership contest with letters of “no confidence” in him.

And Johnson himself?

According to BBC political editor Chris Mason, he actually has the bare-faced cheek to trot out the tired old lie that “We have learned our lesson”.

What utter Boris Bull****.

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Partygate: Boris Johnson may be getting no more fines, but he’s a long way from getting away with it

Boris Johnson at a party: this one was in Christmas 2020, apparently, but the police aren’t fining him for it. Hmm…

Never mind the rumours that Boris Johnson met Sue Gray to discuss how to “manage” her report on the Covid-19 lockdown-busting Downing Street parties; he’s not likely to affect her verdict.

Apparently they only met to talk about whether she should publish images in her report – and he said it was a matter for her to decide on her own.

At the moment, it seems she is pushing for clearance to name the so-called ringleaders of the Partygate scandal, discussing with Civil Service human resources and legal teams, as well as trade unions, how explicitly she can point the finger.

That’s not the behaviour of someone who has taken orders not to rock the boat.

Indeed, avid scandal-watchers are bulk-buying popcorn in time for next week’s publication of her report, which promises to issue scathing criticism of senior political and Civil Service figures, calling into question why illegal social gatherings were allowed to take place.

But the real scandal appears to be the possibility that the Commons Privileges Committee is unlikely to report on whether Johnson intentionally misled Parliament over these parties until September.

The Committee has not yet met to decide who will chair the inquiry, after Labour’s Chris Bryant recused himself over [an] accusation of bias.

It is also unlikely to conclude its investigation before Parliament breaks up for summer recess in July, raising the prospect of Mr Johnson waiting until September at the earliest until the final verdict is delivered on Partygate.

The net result of all this delay has been to diffuse the strength of the scandal.

Ms Gray was originally set to publish her expected-to-be-damning report in January, less than two months after claims came to light that Tory ministers and civil servants took part in illegal parties over a period of more than a year.

But she was delayed after Johnson’s fellow Balliol College, Oxford, alumnus Cressida Dick commissioned a Metropolitan Police inquiry into the allegations that has delayed matters for four months.

And in the meantime, MPs decided to hold their own inquiry into whether Johnson had broken the Ministerial Code. It is known that he repeatedly provided false information to the Commons about whether parties took place but the important question is whether he did so, knowing that his words were not true.

It is this inquiry that may push Johnson out of Downing Street, because knowingly misleading Parliament is a breach of the Ministerial Code for which the penalties go as far as expulsion from that assembly.

But if the verdict won’t be known until September, who will care?

Source: Boris Johnson to wait months for final ‘Partygate’ verdict on whether he misled Parliament

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50 more fines for Downing Street partying reveal the scale of the lawbreaking

Christmas party: the fines announced today were for an event Boris Johnson was said not to have attended. Here’s an image of him from one he did.

The Metropolitan Police have fined 50 Downing Street employees for taking part in an illegal Christmas party there in 2020.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is not among those being fined this time, as it is understood he did not attend – but the new fines illustrate the scale of lawbreaking in Whitehall while the rest of us were being forced to observe strict social distancing rules that kept us from our loved ones while they were dying – and afterwards.

It is now clear that staff at Downing Street and Whitehall enjoyed a culture of lawbreaking that lasted for months on end – possibly more than a year – under the noses of Boris Johnson and his senior government ministers.

Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have already been served with fines, and with the prime minister believed to have attended at least three of the 12 gatherings under Met Police investigation. Also fined was Johnson’s wife Carrie, who had no reason to be anywhere near Downing Street employees under any circumstances at the time.

The announcement of the new fines must be like a noose tightening around Johnson’s throat; the police investigation is not close to being over – and a second, more detailed report from Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray, set to follow once the last fine has been served, threatens to be more damning than all of the penalty notices put together.

Johnson says he will have “plenty to say” about the scale of the lawbreaking “when the thing’s finished”.

But why won’t he say anything about it now?

He knows what happened and whether he took part in it.

But he has refused to provide any information himself, leaving it to investigators to discover the damning evidence – such as that which led to his first fine. If you are a UK citizen, your prime minister is a criminal.

And the decision to force others to drag out the incriminating information simply makes him look worse. We know he is a habitual liar so his determination to hide the facts should be no surprise – but if he is found to have lied to Parliament, he will have broken the Ministerial Code, and the refusal to apologise for doing so, plus the failure to admit his crimes, will make any such offence worse.

So it seems to This Writer that, at the end of the day, Boris Johnson won’t need to say “plenty”. His only option will be summed up in two words: “I resign.”

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Is Sue Gray’s Covid parties review so damning it could finish Boris Johnson as PM?

Boris Johnson and Cressida Dick: her decision to investigate the so-called Partygate scandal bought him a three-month reprieve from the “excoriating” contents of Sue Gray’s report – but now seems likely to add fuel to incendiary criticisms it contains.

This casts the Metropolitan Police’s decision to investigate the alleged lockdown-busting Downing Street parties – after initially refusing – in a very poor light indeed.

The Met, under then-Commissioner Cressida Dick, decided to launch an investigation after all, shortly before Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray was due to publish her review into the events underlying the so-called Partygate scandal.

Ms Gray had been expected to publish her report around January 24 this year, but it didn’t appear on that day – and on the very next day, Dick announced that the Met was launching an investigation of its own.

This Writer said at the time that the announcement seemed an obvious delaying tactic and today’s (April 25) revelation suggests that I was right.

Ms Gray was forced to amend her report because the plods said they didn’t want it to contain any information that could prejudice their inquiries.

And now we hear claims that the full report is so “excoriating” of Johnson that it could end his term as prime minister:

The Times, citing an official it described as being familiar with the contents of the complete report, said Ms Gray’s full findings were even more personally critical of the Prime Minister and could end his premiership.

According to the paper, the official said: “Sue’s report is excoriating. It will make things incredibly difficult for the Prime Minister. There’s an immense amount of pressure on her – her report could be enough to end him.” No 10 declined to comment.

Ironically, it seems the Met’s delaying tactic is likely to have made matters worse for Johnson in the long term.

Already he has received one fixed-term penalty – a fine – for attending a party held to celebrate his own birthday in 2020. It seems likely he will receive another for a “bring your own booze” event in the garden of 10 Downing Street on May 20 that year.

And there are four other events that he allegedly attended being investigated by the police as well.

Ms Gray can’t release her full report until after the police investigation has ended but, by then, any criticism of Johnson may be superceded by the consequences of the fines.

According to the i newspaper, Tory rebels are organising to oust him if their party fares poorly in next month’s local elections – or if he receives further fines.

The three-month reprieve Johnson has enjoyed as a result of the police investigation has merely allowed them to organise themselves, it seems.

The paper says Johnson’s critics are currently “holding back” to await the local election results or further fines – but have prepared ‘no confidence’ letters to be submitted en masse to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs should the party take a battering at the polls on May 5.

It seems Johnson’s chickens are coming home to roost and any plan to fend off his critics with an early general election is likely to fail. How will he try to save his bacon now?

Source: Sue Gray’s Covid parties review could spell ‘end’ of Boris Johnson premiership, says report

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Partygate signals huge local election losses for Tories, campaigners say

Caught by the ballots: if Boris Johnson continues to show the lack of contrition over Partygate that we have seen so far, his own backbenchers will probably backstab him, fearing that losses of local councillors will endanger their own Parliamentary salaries and expense accounts.

Boris Johnson will make this worse because he simply doesn’t care.

He has been told that the Conservative Party – of which he is the leader – will lose huge numbers of council seats in the May local elections because he attended illegal parties in Downing Street while the rest of us obeyed his lockdown laws.

The losses are likely to be worsened if he receives any more fixed penalty notices for attending parties other than the birthday event for himself, for which he has already been fined – and police are said to be investigating five.

The Metropolitan Police have said they will not announce whether Johnson receives further fines during the pre-election “purdah” period (as it may be construed as an attempt to influence the way people vote) but Downing Street has said that it will make a statement if the prime minister receives any.

Johnson is facing an inquiry into whether he deliberately misled Parliament with multiple claims that there were no rule breaches before he received his first fine for breaching his own rules.

He apologised to Parliament on April 19 but Conservative MP Steve Baker has denounced Johnson’s words as insincere: “The contrition didn’t last much longer than it took to get out of the headmaster’s study. By the time we got to the 1922 Committee meeting that evening it was the usual festival of bombast and orgy of adulation.

“It took me about 90 seconds to realise he wasn’t really remorseful.”

That is what’s going to turn voters away from the Conservatives on May 5.

Johnson doesn’t care because he thinks the loss of local councillors won’t affect his position as prime minister.

But his attitude fails to take into account the fact that Tory backbenchers will be in danger of losing their seats if he continues to show the indifference that we are seeing now.

And like Johnson himself, the Tory MPs’ first loyalty is to their own income stream. If his continuation as PM puts their Parliamentary jobs in jeopardy, they’ll take action to prevent it.

Expect more letters of ‘no confidence’ in his leadership to flood in to Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, pronto.

Source: Tories face heavy local election losses over Partygate, PM told | Conservatives | The Guardian

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More than a dozen Tory MPs call for Boris Johnson to quit over Partygate

Johnson in India: he’s not making a sign of greeting – he’s actually praying that something will happen to get him off the hook.

It’ll go higher – but for now we’re hearing that more than 12 Conservative MPs are now calling for Boris Johnson to quit as prime minister – before the weight of evidence against him forces him out.

On Friday (April 22, 2022), Robert Largan became the latest Tory MP to speak out against Johnson, telling constituents in a newsletter that he “will not defend the indefensible”.

He joins others including Nigel Mills, Caroline Nokes, Craig Whittaker, Anthony Mangnall, Tobias Ellwood, and Gary Streeter who have already called for Johnson to go.

Johnson himself ran away to India before MPs supported a motion for an investigation into whether he lied to Parliament “on the nod” – they didn’t even bother to vote on it.

He’s there to talk up a post-Brexit trade deal (it’s too much of a stretch to suggest he’s been “working” on it) that he says he wants done by Diwali in October.

Asked at a news conference whether he was “absolutely sure” that he would still be prime minister by then, he said: “Yes.”

But you can bet that’s another lie.

Source: Boris Johnson says he will still be PM in six months despite backbench rumblings over partygate | Politics News | Sky News

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Johnson’s future in the balance: he WILL face inquiry over deliberately misleading MPs

Boris Johnson (right) preparing to ask questions at a quiz during one of the many lockdown-busting Downing Street Christmas parties. He has said he was not aware that these events broke the rules he laid down for the rest of us.

Boris Johnson’s continued tenure as prime minister may be in danger after MPs voted to launch an inquiry into whether he deliberately misled them about his attendance at lockdown-busting Downing Street parties.

No actual vote was taken because – after all the bluster that the Conservatives would not allow an investigation to take place, in the end, no objection was voiced to the motion and it went through “on the nod”.

This signifies a huge about-turn in the attitude of Conservative MPs.

Johnson’s Tory government had indicated that it would submit an amendment to Labour’s motion for an inquiry, seeking to delay the vote.

But this was withdrawn. Perhaps ministers had realised that backbenchers were being influenced by the public mood against their prime minister, and thought it would be better to let them express their feelings in a single vote, rather than two.

Conservatives certainly showed no reticence about expressing themselves during the debate.

It seems they were not prepared to defend Johnson, believing that it would reflect badly on them, allowing voters to accuse them of covering up their prime minister’s criminality and dishonesty.

William Wragg, Conservative MP and Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said few Conservatives can “truly enjoy” being an MP at the moment, and it is “utterly depressing” to be asked to “defend the indefensible”. He would vote for an investigation into Johnson’s behaviour.

Former Brexit Minister Steve Baker said he had wanted to forgive Johnson after the prime minister made an apology to MPs on Tuesday – but “that spirit of earnest willingness to forgive lasted about 90 seconds” into a meeting Boris Johnson held with his backbenchers later the same day.

“[It was] an orgy of adulation, a great festival of bombast, and I cannot bear these things… This level of transgression, this level of demand for forgiveness requires more than an apology drawing a line under it and moving on in the way the prime minister sought to do in his interviews.”

He said both Johnson and his advisers “need to understand this is a permanent stone in his shoe” and those who want to forgive him “want to see permanent contrition”.

Baker went on to tell the story of a constituent who didn’t get to see his wife of 50 years in a care home before she died, because of lockdown rules. “What am I to say to that man? I could say… you and I are Christian men and forgiveness is hard. [But] I don’t want to forgive him. I do not want to forgive our prime minister.”

He added that, if he was in any other job, Johnson would be “long gone”.

“Having watched the contrition… it only lasted as long as it took to get out of the headmaster’s study, and that’s not good enough for me, and that’s not good enough for my voters. I have to say now the possibility [of forgiveness] has gone… and for not obeying the letter and the spirit, the prime minister now should be long gone.

“The prime minister should just know the gig’s up.”

Conservative MP Peter Aldous said “this situation is completely unprecedented” – and the Privileges Committee should be invited to investigate.

Conservative Andrew Mangnall, MP for Totnes, said he still has a letter of no confidence in the prime minister with Sir Graham Brady of the 1922 Committee: “Every day that I see issues and rules broken in this place only reaffirms my belief that we have to stand up in this place and make it clear that dishonesty, inaction and misleading of the house cannot be tolerated, from anyone.”

He said he forgave Johnson for making mistakes – “but not for misleading the house as I see it”. He welcomed the motion and said he looked forward to the findings pf the Privileges Committee.

The investigation, by the Commons Privileges Committee, will not take place until the last fixed penalty notices are delivered by the Metropolitan Police and Sue Gray, who ran a Cabinet Office inquiry into the matter, is allowed to deliver her own final report.

Once all the information from the police and Ms Gray has become public knowledge, the committee of MPs – most of them Conservative – will decide Johnson’s fate.

If today’s performance is any yardstick, it isn’t looking good.

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Tory MPs supporting Johnson should remember the words of bereaved families: he took us for mugs

Insult added to injury: Boris Johnson’s planned response to bereaved families who stuck to the lockdown rules that he chose to break.

On Thursday, April 21, MPs will vote on a Labour motion for an inquiry to be held into whether Boris Johnson deliberately misled them when he said no lockdown-busting parties happened in Downing Street, despite having attended (and, allegedly, planned) at least one.

The BBC is reporting that the result is a foregone conclusion because Johnson is whipping Tory MPs to support him, even if they don’t think he deserves it. He’s that corrupt.

All This Writer can say is, I hope those Tory MPs take a step back and think about what the revelations about Johnson’s party attendance mean for people who lost loved ones to Covid-19 during his lockdown – and were banned by law from being with them at the end; a law that Johnson wilfully broke:

Bereaved families have said Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak “took us all for mugs” and should “be gone tonight” after the pair were fined for breaking Covid lockdown rules.

Lobby Akinnola, spokesperson for Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said there was “simply no way” the prime minister and chancellor could continue in post.

He said: “After everything that’s happened it’s still unbelievably painful to know the prime minister was partying and breaking his own lockdown rules while we were unable to be at our loved ones’ sides in their dying moments, or in miserable funerals with only a handful of people because we were following the rules.

“The fact that the prime minister and his chancellor then lied about it, and would have continued to do so if the police hadn’t intervened, is truly shameless.

“They broke the law. But even worse, they took us all for mugs.”

“Their dishonesty has caused untold hurt to the bereaved.

“Not only that, but they have lost all credibility with the wider public, which could cost lives if new variants mean restrictions are needed in the future.”

This is true; I have spoken with many people since the fines were handed out and, in the now-unlikely event of another lockdown being ordered by the wretched Johnson, none of them have any intention of observing it.

The outrage about this betrayal is not about to go away.

Johnson made a law that caused huge anguish among those who abided by it – then decided that he wasn’t going to let it spoil his good times and broke it willy-nilly. Then he lied about it – repeatedly.

I have no doubt that he would still be hypocritically claiming that he didn’t break the law if the Metropolitan Police had not reversed its original decision not to investigate his crime.

If he is saved in Thursday’s vote by Tory MPs who choose to ignore the will of the people on this matter, then they will have proved that they are truly unfit to govern.

Source: ‘Truly shameless’: Covid bereaved families say Boris Johnson ‘took us all for mugs’ after lockdown party fine | The Independent

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The wind turns against Boris Johnson as Tories call for him to go

Boris Johnson: we all think it’s time for him to go so perhaps he should stop sulking about it and clear off under his cloud of disgrace.

Boris Johnson’s call for support from Conservative MPs seems to have had a very short-lived effect.

Perhaps after seeing the results of an opinion poll in which their prime minister was described by one person as an “utter anus”, backbenchers are turning against their dishonest, criminal leader.

Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper publicly called for his resignation and submitted a letter of ‘no confidence’ in his leadership after Johnson was fined for breaking Covid-19 lockdown laws that he had announced to the nation personally:

“I regret to say that we have a prime minister who broke the laws that he told the country they had to follow, hasn’t been straightforward about it and is now going to ask the decent men and women on these benches to defend what I think is indefensible,” Mr Harper said.

“I’m very sorry to have to say this, but I no longer think he is worthy of the great office that he holds.”

Harper followed a number of other Tories who have also spoken up against Johnson.

Former Cabinet Minister Karen Bradley branded Johnson’s behaviour “unforgivable” and said:

“If I had been a minister found to have broken the laws that I passed, I would be tendering my resignation now.”

Penrith and the Border MP Neil Hudson said he “categorically will not defend the indefensible” and that “the situation is untenable”, urging Johnson to lay out a timetable for an “orderly transition to a leadership election as soon as the international situation permits”.

Other MPs to have openly called for the PM to quit since the fixed penalty notice landed are Nigel Mills and Craig Whittaker.

In response to Harper, Johnson said: “I bitterly regret the event in Downing Street as I have said, but I do believe that it is the job of this Government to get on with the priorities of the British people and that is what we’re going to do.”

How would Johnson even recognise “the priorities of the British people” when he’s always so busy pandering to his own most basic lusts?

Source: Boris Johnson branded ‘dishonest’ by Keir Starmer as Mark Harper submits letter of no confidence over partygate | Politics News | Sky News

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Why are Tory MPs supporting Johnson when the public overwhelmingly HATE him?

It probably isn’t him but it gets the message across: in a national poll, Boris Johnson has been described as an “utter anus” by at least one respondent. And he’s whipping his MPs to pretend there’s no reason for an inquiry into whether he was dishonest to them…

The Labour Party has secured a vote to decide whether a Commons committee should investigate if criminal prime minister Boris Johnson misled Parliament when he said he adhered to all Covid-19 laws despite attending at least one lockdown-busting party.

Sadly, it seems unlikely to achieve anything as all Conservative MPs are likely to be placed under a three-line whip, ordering them to reject the move in a clearly corrupt attempt to avoid evidence revealing that Johnson deliberately lied.

Ironically, the public have already made up their collective mind: the overwhelming majority of us know a lying criminal when we see one, and that’s how we describe the despicable habitual lawbreaker Boris Johnson.

poll by JLPartners found that just 16 per cent of people would use positive language to describe the prime minister with more than 70 per cent characterising him in negative terms.

Voters were asked to describe the prime minister, with the most frequent description being that he is a ‘liar’ – followed by ‘incompetent’ and ‘untrustworthy’.

Other words used regularly by voters to describe the PM include “idiot” and “buffoon”, while one voter described him as an “utter anus”.

Let’s hope that catches on; I certainly would like to see Johnson described as an “utter anus” wherever he goes.

Amazingly, according to the BBC a majority of Conservative MPs haven’t yet caught on that the rest of us think their leader is an “utter anus”, and are set to support him on Thursday’s vote, as they did during Tuesday’s debate.

One gets the feeling that, by then, Johnson may need the three-line whip he is inflicting on them – otherwise they may act on information received between now and then and vote to dump him.

Doesn’t it say everything about this corrupt criminal liar, “idiot”, “buffoon” and, indeed, “utter anus” that he needs to coerce his own MPs into standing by him?