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
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