This is good to know:
Taxpayers incurred no costs for food, alcohol, suitcases* or a fridge connected with gatherings investigated as part of the Downing Street partygate allegations, the Government has said.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis replied simply with “no” when challenged by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney (Richmond Park) on “whether there was a cost to the public purse from expenditure” on the items.
Great! And not just because it means the public purse wasn’t opened to pay for government officials’ drinks and nibbles.
It means that, by following the (virtual) paper trail, we can find out who did.
Whenever I go to the supermarket and pay using my debit card, I receive an automatic notification of the payment via my bank’s app. I do not expect to be unique in that respect.
If I get such a notification, it follows that the shop receives the same alert that a payment has been made, with details of the person making it.
We know the names and locations of the shops where the Downing Street drinks were bought, and we know the dates of the parties.
So all Metropolitan Police officers have to do is request information of transactions for those days and compare it with their list of Downing Street workers.
If one of the cards used belongs to a “B JOHNSON” it’ll be “case proved”, I think.
*This is funny! It’s a reference to the fact that workers carried suitcases filled with bottles of wine into 10 Downing Street, past the police officers on the door (who apparently saw no reason to believe anything untoward was happening at the time).