Tag Archives: fine

Keir Starmer ‘preparing successors’ Streeting, Nandy and Cooper for Labour leadership if he has to quit

Keir Starmer: he has bored most of us away from Labour and now he wants his boring friends to finish the job if he can’t.

It seems Keir Starmer is determined to steer Labour into disaster – from behind the scenes, if he has to.

After handing in his questionnaire about possible breaches of Covid-19 lockdown rules at an online campaigning event last year, it seems he has contacted the people he sees as potential successors, instructing them to prepare for a leadership contest.

These include Lisa Nandy, Yvette Cooper, and even Wes Streeting. God help the Labour Party if any of them get the top spot!

Apparently he has told friends, “I will not let our hard-won gains be squandered so we will need to be ready in the unlikely event that the worst comes to worst.”

What “hard-won gains”?

Under Starmer, Labour has haemorrhaged party members and, if it hasn’t lost seats, it has certainly failed to gain them. He has struggled to gain even a polling parity with the most overtly corrupt Tory prime minister of our lifetimes.

Starmer’s time as Labour leader has been an abject failure. Any leadership by his anointed successors will certainly continue the trend.

Source: Keir Starmer ‘preparing successors’ for Labour leadership if he’s forced to quit

Johnson is dodging demand to explain why being fined doesn’t break ‘uphold law’ rule

Lord Geidt: he has said the only reason he didn’t offer advice to Boris Johnson on how to conduct himself within the Ministerial Code is he would have had to resign if Johnson didn’t take it. This implies that he expected Johnson not to, doesn’t it?

Boris Johnson’s desperation to hold on to power while exercising it in only silly and pointless ways is becoming increasingly blatant with every passing day.

The latest development is a demand by Johnson’s standards advisor, Lord Geidt, for the prime minister to explain why his fine for breaching Covid-19 laws by attending a party does not break the Ministerial Code duty to comply with the law.

Johnson’s only response is the legally illiterate claim that “paying a fixed penalty notice is not a criminal conviction”. Maybe not – but it is a criminal sanction. People don’t get fined if they haven’t broken a law – and the Code’s conventions demand that ministers breaking the law must resign.

In his annual report on ministers’ interests, Geidt said the Partygate fine meant “a legitimate question has arisen as to whether those facts alone might have constituted a breach of the overarching duty within the ministerial code of complying with the law”.

Even if Johnson thought there was no breach, Geidt stated that he “should respond accordingly, setting out his case in public.”

Do you think he will?

This is just the latest evidence that, as a recent Guardian editorial claimed, the UK is “not being governed seriously in very serious times”.

Anxiety that the UK is rudderless while Johnson desperately tries to bail himself out of trouble that he caused won’t be dispelled by current government policy, the writer claims – because it has been formulated purely to distract us from the prime minister’s illegal antics:

There can be no other purpose for the proposal to restore trade in imperial units. The tiny number of people who will be thrilled by the restoration of a right to exclude metric measurements from displays of goods will be hugely outnumbered by the people, including many Conservatives, who can smell the decay in such gimmickry.

Reports of a plan to lift the prohibition on expanding grammar schools belongs in a similar category, although it sounds weightier. This is a zombie policy that staggers on in the Tory imagination as a solution to problems of social mobility, despite ample evidence that selective education has the opposite effect. If Mr Johnson thinks his levelling up agenda will be enlivened by reviving discredited schools policy, he will be disappointed.

The same unoriginal impulse is being brought to ignite a proposed bonfire of EU regulation – the function of the “Brexit freedoms bill” announced in the Queen’s speech. Sunset clauses will be retroactively scattered across the body of retained European law, so that they expire regardless of whether a suitable replacement has been conceived. It is a wildly irresponsible idea, conceived in the delusional realm of Europhobic imaginations where every British economic problem has its origin in Brussels directives. In reality, it means legislating for deliberate uncertainty, as if the goal is deterring investment.

The writer goes on to make this bold statement: “the harder the prime minister scrapes the bottom of the policy barrel, the more desperate he looks.

“But the task of political survival is now consuming all of the energy that should be applied to running the country… Conservative MPs.. can have Mr Johnson as their leader, or they can have a functional government; not both.”

Sadly, even this is not true.

There is no evidence to suggest that a Tory government will function any more adequately without Boris Johnson than with him; considering the alternatives, they all have to go.

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Partygate: Met Police Acting Commissioner pathetically tries to whitewash Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson: the prime minister is pictured participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from his Downing Street communications job – but according to Acting Met Police Commissioner Sir Stephen House, there is “no clear evidence” that he took part in the rampant Covid-19 rule-breaking there.

A police officer who witnessed “a large number of people” at a “crowded and noisy” party, where “some members of staff drank excessively” did not immediately take action over Covid-19 rule breaches because he was there for security and not to “police what goes on inside the building”, according to Met Police Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House.

Have you ever read such nonsense? Police officers are sworn to uphold the law at all times, no matter what their stated duties are said to be. Would he have turned a blind eye to burglary, or rape, because he was assigned to “security”?

Apparently the same officer did not feel that a large number of drunken people in a crowded and noisy room breached Covid-19 regulations that strictly prohibited such social gatherings.

It’s no wonder this “acting” Commissioner’s other comments are also shockingly inadequate in the light of this.

House told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee there was “no clear evidence” that Johnson had breached Covid-19 rules many times in Downing Street, despite the very clear photographic evidence of him participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from Downing Street on November 13, 2020.

This was not a “works gathering”. Far too many people were present and they were socialising and drinking alcohol – as was the prime minister, who gave a speech. The amount of time he spent there was immaterial because the rules in place at the time prohibited all such social events from taking place at all.

At least one attendee was fined for being at this event but there was “no clear evidence” that Boris Johnson was there or took part, according to House.

House also suggested that it was difficult for his officers to work out which gatherings were work-related and which were not. How daft! If alcoholic drinks were visible in the room, then they weren’t work-related. And in any case, if the room was packed with people, meaning they were not at least 2m away from each other in accordance with social distancing rules, they were breaking the law.

House said he was personally involved in the decision-making and was confident in the outcome of the police investigation. That should be enough for us to demand that he surrender his badge.

Is he selling us down the river so he can gain the favour of the top Tories?

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Damning: Johnson lied to Parliament about party attendance and police failed to fine him

How will the Met Police justify this? Boris Johnson is pictured toasting departing Downing Street comms chief Lee Cain at a leaving party on November 13, 2020, that the prime minister told Parliament he never attended.

Days after police decided not to fine Boris Johnson again for attending illegal Downing Street parties, we see that it is all a lie.

Johnson did attend at least one party beyond the birthday event in 2020 for which he was fined.

It was during a time of full lockdown in England – November 13, 2020 – when only two people from different households were allowed to mix indoors.

Questioned in Parliament on whether a party had taken place on that date, Johnson said, “No but I’m sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed, and the rules were followed at all times.”

But images published by ITV News show at least eight people in a Downing Street room, meaning at least nine were there including the photographer. They were from many different households.

We can clearly see a table covered with bottles of substances including Champagne or Cava, wine and gin, and party cups – one of which is being hefted by Johnson as he gives what is clearly a party speech.

Excuses that this was a “works do” won’t wash, because a “works do” is still a party – and in any case, one person who attended this event to mark the departure of comms chief Lee Cain was fined for it.

Claims that Johnson was “just passing through” because his red box is visible, discarded nearby, are unconvincing because we have already heard that Johnson pays very little attention to the contents of his red boxes, which have been seen unattended outside his Downing Street flat (a blatant security risk) while the prime minister himself receives briefings on their contents via WhatsApp.

Perhaps that particular box was actually in the possession of one of the other people at the party, who had either already written a briefing for their lazy party-boy boss or was going to do it later.

So Johnson quite clearly and categorically lied to Parliament about his attendance at this party. Why haven’t the police fined him, then?

This Site has already discussed suggestions from a solicitor that Met officers may have been influenced by deference for Johnson’s position as prime minister, in contradiction of the requirement that everybody must be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

The same expert also suggested that Johnson had been able to afford to get “lawyered up” with expensive representatives whose services were beyond the means of the lower-paid civil servants who could not evade fixed penalty notices – another indication of preferential treatment.

So Metropolitan Police investigators have serious questions to answer.

The Met has “declined to explain” why Johnson was not fined for attending a party when somebody else was – indicating a guilty conscience, perhaps?

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has already been urged to investigate – by the Liberal Democrats (presumably Labour leader Keir Starmer has been asleep at the wheel again).

But the request is unlikely to be honoured because the IOPC usually investigates only the most serious cases, such as those involving a death or serious injury following contact with the police, and complaints can only be made by someone who has directly witnessed an incident or is directly affected by it.

Nevertheless, it seems the police will be forced to explain themselves as legal action is being initiated by others including the Good Law Project.

This Writer wonders if Sue Gray is frantically re-writing her report, that is due to be released to the public tomorrow (May 25), according to some sources.

Our predominantly right-wing media are telling us that Johnson is in no danger of being removed by his own Conservative MPs.

It seems they are hoping that public outrage at this flagrant abuse of his government’s own rules by the prime minister who announced them to the public will have peaked.

But, being Tories, they probably aren’t counting the human cost of Covid-19 and the effect this has had. Johnson was partying with his colleagues at a time when people were dying alone because he had ordered that their relatives and friends were not allowed to be with them at the end.

That causes the kind of pain that doesn’t go away when it is politically expedient.

And of course this is new evidence for the Commons Privileges Committee, that will investigate whether Johnson lied to Parliament about attending parties.

If he did, then the rules will demand his resignation. And this evidence shows – in no uncertain terms – that he did lie.

If he had any integrity at all he would resign now and save us all the annoyance of waiting for it. But his past behaviour tells us that he doesn’t, so he won’t.

Photographs cast doubt on Boris Johnson’s claims he was unaware of rule-breaking. | ITV National News

Source: Exclusive: Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured drinking at Downing Street party during lockdown | ITV News

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No more Partygate fines for Johnson – if we trust Downing Street – but what will Sue Gray say?

Sue Gray: all eyes are turning to her, now she is at liberty to publish her full – and probably damning – report on Boris Johnson and the illegal Downing Street parties he allowed to happen under his nose.

The prime minister’s office at Downing Street has said that Boris Johnson will not receive a second fine for taking part in illegal parties there during the Covid-19 lockdowns that he himself had imposed.

With the police refusing to name anybody they have fined, we are being asked to take the word of people who are themselves likely to have been fined for taking part in the parties (126 people have) and who may have been told to protect their boss.

But whether or not you believe the people who initially spent more than a year hiding the fact that these parties took place at all, the closure of the Metropolitan Police inquiry means that Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray may at last release her own full report on the scandal.

This could be far more damning to Johnson than the police investigation because it may include her verdict on whether he lied to his fellow MPs about whether the parties took place and about his own participation in them.

Lying to Parliament is a grave offence under the Ministerial Code, for which it is entirely possible that Johnson may not only lose his job as prime minister but be expelled from the House of Commons altogether.

Of course, ultimate authority for punishing offences against the Code lies with – guess who? – the prime minister but in a situation in which the PM himself is accused, it seems logical that alternative arrangements will be made to judge the matter.

And MPs have already arranged their own inquiry. A motion for the Commons Privileges Committee to do so was passed “on the nod” after attempts by the Tory leadership to prevent their backbenchers from voting for it were defeated.

We have already been told that the Gray report is so excoriating of Johnson that it may end his premiership:

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.

According to the i newspaper, in a report last month, Tory rebels have been organising to oust Johnson and the now-four-month reprieve Johnson enjoyed as a result of the police investigation merely allowed them to organise themselves.

Even though we have been told he has not received any more fines, these backbenchers were also watching the results of the local elections at the beginning of the month – in which the Conservatives took a drubbing.

Remember: these were council seats and devolved Parliament places where the Labour Party had enjoyed the so-called “Corbyn bounce” in 2018, and where the Tories may have reasonably expected to make gains this time. Instead both they and Labour lost out to the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Ms Gray is expected to release her report next week – and then the sparks may really fly.

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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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Keir Starmer’s offer to quit if he’s fined for breach of lockdown: overconfidence?

Keir Starmer: he has absolutely no intention of quitting as Labour Party leader – but that’s exactly what he has promised to do if the police find him to have broken lockdown rules. What if his bluff is called?

It’s a big show of bravado but it could backfire badly for the most right-wing leader Labour has ever had.

Keir Starmer has said he will stand down as Labour Party leader if the police find him guilty of breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules in April 2021.

This Site has discussed the circumstances and the various claims here and here.

Culture Minister Chris Philp has accused the Labour leader trying to “pressure the police into clearing him”, which he called “deeply inappropriate”.

But that is not Starmer’s problem.

He has painted himself into a corner.

What are voters going to do if the police don’t clear him – and he decides not to quit after all?

You can be sure that he has absolutely no intention of going, no matter what happens.

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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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After Partygate fines, Tory-dominated Parliament is set to saddle us with a criminal government

Where he ought to be: but Boris Johnson looks set to avoid even the slightest censure for breaking the law and lying about it to Parliament because it seems Conservative MPs care more about their own money than the rule of law.

Look how far the UK has fallen under the corrupt leadership of these criminal Conservatives!

After being fined – probably less than the country’s poorest citizens, despite his offence being far worse – for attending a party he had personally explained to the nation was against the law, Boris Johnson looks set to get a free pass from his lickspittle Cabinet and backbenchers.

They seem to think that a criminal who knowingly lied to the nation – about the good times he was having at the same time he was forcing us apart from our friends, family and loved ones who were dying with Covid-19 – will continue to boost their own popularity in elections, and it seems they are more concerned with continuing to draw their enormous MP salaries and expenses claims than with upholding the law.

Only one Conservative – Tory Lord Wolfson – has acted on his conscience. He said the “scale, context and nature” of Covid breaches in government was inconsistent with the rule of law. As a Justice Minister responsible for the constitution, he said the prime minister’s failure to resign left him with no option other than to resign himself.

Three other Tory MPs have said Johnson should quit but others who have previously demanded his resignation have changed their tune and are now cravenly expressing support for the crook.

So the word is that, no matter what sanctions Opposition parties suggest against the UK’s first and only criminal prime minister, the Tories’ 80-seat voting majority will keep him in place.

According to the rules, he should have resigned last week so any failure to do so today (April 19) will be a further offence against the nation.

Johnson deliberately and repeatedly lied to Parliament and to the nation, saying he had not attended any illegal gatherings. Current intelligence suggests he went as far as organising one of them, which renders his current excuse – that he did not realise any of the events he was attending were illegal – into utter nonsense.

He is also expected to say that Partygate is not important – meaning the suffering he put you through while he raved it up is worth nothing to him and his MPs – and we should concentrate instead on the cost of living crisis (that he has caused) and the war in Ukraine (in which the UK is not a participant. In any case, many UK prime ministers have been replaced during wartime).

Opposition parties have been discussing how best to hold Johnson to account and demonstrate the corruption within the Tory ranks that support him. Possible measures include a censure motion or a vote of no confidence.

This Writer believes that it is in the debate that the most damage can be done. Each Conservative who stands up to speak will have to try to justify why they support a prime minister who has not only criminalised himself but has broken the ministerial code to lie about it – to Parliament, an offence that requires him to resign but he has failed to do so.

All Opposition MPs need to do is, when they stand up to speak after a Tory, pass a comment to the effect that the previous speaker is condoning criminality and should themselves be censured by the voters. But I doubt they will have the wit to do that.

Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle is expected to make a decision around lunchtime on what vote – if any – should take place on measures against Johnson (and, for that matter, against Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has also been fined and is also, therefore, a criminal).

Whatever happens, the day is likely to end with the UK still labouring under the cosh of a government headed by two criminals. Nobody should be comfortable with that.

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If Sunak wanted to resign over tax affairs, why stay after being named a criminal?

The face of avarice: Rishi Sunak isn’t staying on as Chancellor after being named as a criminal because he wants to “deliver” for the nation; he wants something for himself. What?

In the sphere of Tory corruption, this must be fruit from a low-hanging branch – but did it occur to you?

Rishi Sunak came under sustained pressure last week after his wife Akshata Murty was exposed as having avoided paying millions of pounds in UK tax by claiming non-domiciled status.

It was then revealed that Sunak himself had been able to avoid paying UK tax for years after becoming a UK member of Parliament because he had a United States Green Card. He only gave up the privilege after having been Chancellor of the Exchequer for a considerable amount of time.

According to the Sunday Times, Sunak considered quitting, although another source told Reuters that he didn’t. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

The weirdest part of this story is that Ms Murty, who is allegedly richer than the Queen, would agree to pay taxes to keep Sunak in a job that pays only around £150,000 per year.

People like her don’t do things like that – they harm her bank balance – unless there is something in it for them. The question is: what?

And now Sunak himself has been named as a criminal by the Metropolitan Police (the fixed penalty notice he has received for attending one of the infamous Downing Street parties is a criminal sanction, meaning in the eyes of the law he has committed a crime).

The Tory government, the UK’s Parliament, and the nation as a whole are disgraced by this man.

He decided unilaterally that he was above the law that was bringing many thousands of pounds in fines to his Treasury.

He decided he was happy to inflict misery on the families of the thousands of people who died with Covid-19 – alone, because of his government’s demands – but wouldn’t dream of putting up with those restrictions himself.

And now he has decided that he doesn’t have to accept the consequence of being a criminal.

So – again – we should ask why Sunak is deciding to continue in a role he has disgraced by his criminal behaviour.

As with his wife’s earnings, Sunak doesn’t do anything in his career that does not make him a fat profit.

So the big questions are: what’s in it for him? And what is he doing in order to achieve it?

Source: UK’s Sunak considered resigning over tax criticism – Sunday Times

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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