It’s been said before: it isn’t the wrongdoing that brings down governments – it’s the cover-up.
Yesterday (December 7, 2021), ITV News screened video of Boris Johnson’s then-press secretary, Allegra Stratton, laughing and joking about a Christmas party that government representatives, MPs and ministers have sworn blind did not take place on December 18, 2020, in a press conference rehearsal that happened four days later:
So there it is. Four days after the party – and we know now that it definitely took place – Downing Street staff were rehearsing how to lie about it. Remember, nobody would even claim publicly that it had happened for almost an entire year after the time this was recorded.
After the allegations were finally made, the lies started flying thick and fast. For brevity, here’s Peter Stefanovic’s video that captures all the televised falsehoods, including Boris Johnson’s own lie:
The No 10 Christmas party story has seen a significant development tonight so here is my NEW update
It’s incomprehensible, shocking, outrageous and must surely lead to resignations at the highest levels of Government pic.twitter.com/be3rPC62tK
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) December 7, 2021
Do you still have doubts?
If so, just run your eyes over the following, which appears to be video of Jacob Rees-Mogg, taken at the Downing Street party on December 18, 2020:
From a party
Where Rees-Mogg jokes:
"This party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year's time…"
Do your f*cking job @metpoliceuk
— Marina Purkiss (@MarinaPurkiss) December 7, 2021
The Metropolitan Police, having refused to investigate allegations of a party earlier this week – on the basis that they don’t investigate crimes that have already happened – are apparently looking at the Stratton video and considering whether to investigate.
(It probably means they are trying to find a good reason not to. Hopefully the Rees-Mogg video will tip the balance and they’ll have to do something. Interviewing Stratton and Rees-Mogg might be a start.)
This Writer had thought no new evidence was likely to be seen yesterday beyond the revelation that a ‘secret Santa’ present-giving had taken place – meaning the party had been planned well in advance (otherwise the secret present-givers would not have had time to arrange their gifts), and had not been cancelled after London went into Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions and all social gatherings were banned. How much more wrong could I have been?
It is the “secret Santa” detail in the Times about the Downing St party last 18 Dec that is a serious problem for the government. Because that would indicate it was properly planned, and should have been cancelled under Tier 3 rules. It is clear this story is not going away pic.twitter.com/5edD4P7dko
— Robert Peston (@Peston) December 7, 2021
Downing Street itself has doubled-down, continuing to insist that all relevant rules had been followed and adding that Johnson himself certainly did not attend a party.
But that doesn’t matter, because he lied about it.
And he lied while Conservative Party vice-chair Nickie Aiken was on television (BBC Politics Live) telling us all how accusations of lying were bad because they encourage people to think they can’t trust politicians. She even mentioned the Covid-19 pandemic and said she didn’t believe any member of the government would bring Parliament into disrepute:
Conservative MP Nicki Aiken says calling MPs liars "filters down into the public" and causes distrust, "there's a huge difference between debate and abuse"
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 6, 2021
I would like to see her on tomorrow’s Politics Live, commenting on the Stratton and Rees-Mogg clips. What does she have to say now?
Because it’s the lying that is hurtful.
Yesterday evening I watched the ITV News report on this. Anchorman Tom Bradby seemed to be so angry he couldn’t get his words out properly, and a pre-recorded insert was shown featuring members of the public, including one of the many who lost loved ones on the day of the party, reacting to it. The rage was palpable.
It should never be forgotten that 489 people died with Covid-19 on the day these Sloane Rangers and Hooray Henrys were raving it up in Downing Street – and more than 600 on the day Allegra Stratton was laughing about it in her mock press conference.
The reason people are angry is because they were laughing at us – the people who had to obey the rules while they flouted them.
Allow me to show you just a taste of that anger, from Twitter:
“Dear Allegra Stratton
“On the day you partied, my mother called me, breathless and feverish. I didn’t visit. On the day you joked, she was admitted to hospital. I didn’t visit. As you celebrated Christmas, she died without family by her side. I promise you, it wasn’t funny.”
Let’s not forget that the Metropolitan Police – the same force that initially refused to investigate allegations that people in Downing Street broke the rules – are this very week prosecuting members of the public over a house party in Ilford.
How much evidence does Cressida Dick need? She has video evidence that the party took place – including a clip from inside the event itself, and because Downing Street is guarded by police at all times she has the names of everybody who was signed into and out of the premises at the time the party happened. That should be enough to build what should be a watertight case – and now there really is no excuse not to.
So we come back to Boris Johnson – who is also in trouble now because he lied that he did not interfere in the evacuation from Afghanistan to allow a dog rescue charity to remove its animals to the UK.
There was a party. It took place at 10 Downing Street – where he lives. It was illegal. It happened when all social gatherings were banned. It involved a large amount of people who weren’t even attempting social distancing. Johnson’s then-press secretary joked about it being a “cheese and wine” event or “fictional”. And Johnson lied about it.
All of the above suggests that TV funsters Ant and Dec were right on the button when they said these words on yesterday’s edition of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!:
— I'm A Celebrity… (@imacelebrity) December 7, 2021
He is still prime minister… for now.
But for how much longer?
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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