Tag Archives: PIE

#Partygate: Downing Street won’t investigate MP #blackmail claims – but does it matter?

Laughing at us: Boris Johnson grinned inanely and bobbed about on his bench while MPs attacked his contempt for the rules and denials of guilt at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (January 19).

The prime minister’s office has said there will be no investigation of claims that Tory whips have blackmailed MPs to keep them from launching a leadership challenge against Boris Johnson.

But does it matter? It’s being claimed that the Sue Gray inquiry into parties at Downing Street has seen an email warning Johnson’s Principal Private Secretary, Martin Reynolds, against holding a lockdown-breaching party in May 2020.

The official who sent the email, who has so far gone unnamed, appears to have told ITV’s Robert Peston that he “probably” also personally warned Johnson against it “but I honestly can’t remember”.

This would corroborate a claim by Johnson’s former top advisor, Dominic Cummings, who said he had also personally warned the prime minister against the party.

That should be enough to sink Johnson, because it would indicate that he deliberately lied to Parliament when he said he attended it in the belief that it was a “work event”.

Still, the accusations are continuing to land. Today it is being claimed that, after Downing Street said it had seen no evidence to support an investigation into blackmail claims, a group of Tory MPs known insultingly as the “Pork Pie Plotters” (because one of them represents Melton Mowbray) are considering releasing evidence that they have faced such threats.

Apparently this includes text messages and a secretly-recorded, “heated”, exchange of words with Conservative Chief Whip Mark Spencer.

Whether this alleged information becomes public knowledge or not, it is being reported that Downing Street is extremely nervous about what Cabinet Office civil servant Sue Gray’s inquiry will reveal.

It’s being said that officials are now doubtful that it will clear Johnson – and it could be published as early as Monday.

This would make sense if she has seen the alleged email to Martin Reynolds, as it is understood that it would make the case against Johnson airtight.

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Jonathan Pie has waited four years to make this video. Let’s enjoy it with him

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Child abuse imagery arrest raises questions about newspaper timing

Spot the difference: One of these has been harassed by a newspaper over alleged sympathy towards a child abuse group; the other has been arrested on suspicion of possessing images of such abuse. Can you tell which is which, or has the newspaper done a good job of muddling the issue?

Spot the difference: One of these has been harassed by a newspaper over alleged sympathy towards a child abuse group; the other has been arrested on suspicion of possessing images of such abuse. Can you tell which is which, or has the newspaper done a good job of muddling the issue?

Today’s (March 4) papers and Internet news sites will be full of the arrest of Patrick Rock, until recently an aide of David Cameron (and a former protege of Margaret Thatcher) on suspicion of possessing child abuse imagery.

The BBC News article is one of a deluge covering the story of the 62-year-old former deputy head of 10 Downing Street’s policy unit – who had been working on policies that are allegedly intended to make it harder to find images of child abuse on the Internet.

The arrest took place on February 13, a few hours after Mr Rock resigned his position with the government.

Nothing was mentioned in the press at the time – but isn’t it interesting that the Daily Mail started stirring up old allegations against Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey and Patricia Hewitt – about the Paedophile Information Exchange’s involvement with the National Council for Civil Liberties, while they were members – only days later?

While it is important to stress that Mr Rock has not been found guilty of any crime and must therefore be considered innocent until such time as this happens, it is appropriate to ask whether the Tory-supporting Mail used the old story about Labour’s deputy leader and her colleagues to divert attention away from the arrest – which is a far more serious issue.

Comedy genius Rowan Atkinson used to do a sketch in which he would ask a sidekick, “What is the secret of great comedy?”

As the sidekick started to respond, “I don’t know, what is the s-“, Atkinson would interrupt: “Timing.” The premature punchline used to get a big laugh.

In contrast, the Daily Mail‘s timing isn’t funny at all.

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