.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, May 25, 2023

A chequered history?

I just love this headline from the Guardian. The phrase 'Undisclosed Covid-era Johnson events occurred at both Chequers and Downing Street' just seems to sum up Boris Johnson's premiership.

And nobody should be surprised at the contents of the article, in which the paper says that about a dozen previously undisclosed gatherings at both Chequers and Downing Street, allegedly held during Covid, have been referred to the police by civil servants. Has the establishment finally tired of Johnson's shenanigans and decided to sell him out completely? It certainly looks that way.

The report says that Government sources have suggested that approximately 12 potentially illegal events formed the basis of a dossier handed over to two police forces last week, adding that while it was initially thought they were all held at the prime minister’s Buckinghamshire grace-and-favour mansion Chequers, insiders said they also took place in No 10:

They were said to include events which did not form part of the Met police’s investigation last year, nor the Whitehall inquiry led by then-senior civil servant Sue Gray.

After Johnson’s allies made clear their fury at the situation, No 10 stressed Rishi Sunak had no involvement in the decision to hand over the former prime minister’s pandemic diaries.

“We have not seen the information or material in question,” said Sunak’s official spokesperson on Wednesday, adding that ministers had “no involvement in this process and were only made aware after the police had been contacted”.

Police were contacted on 16 May about the issue, according to the Cabinet Office. Thames Valley police said they received a report about “potential breaches” of Covid rules on 18 May, while Scotland Yard said the bundle was passed to it the following day.

Sunak found out the police had been informed at some point between 19 May and the facts becoming public on 23 May, No 10 said, without offering a specific date.

Downing Street refused to say whether Johnson would lose the Conservative whip should he be charged with further lockdown breaches, with Sunak’s press secretary saying No 10 would not respond to questions about the “hypothetical” scenario.

However, they were much more categorical that Sunak had not attended the events in contention at Chequers. Asked whether the then chancellor broke Covid rules there, the press secretary said: “No, definitely not.” They also rejected suggestions Johnson was the victim of a politically motivated stitch up.

Just as compelling is Johnson's reaction to these latest revelations. The paper say that his allies have issued a dramatic warning to Sunak, saying they would meet on Wednesday to “consider options” about how to force the government to stop “witch-hunts”:

They upped the ante on the already febrile Tory benches by calling the decision to hand over evidence of gatherings at Chequers during Covid the “final straw”. Johnson’s supporters accused Cabinet Office ministers of having signed off the decision to pass on the former prime minister’s diaries to police.

The prospect of a Tory civil war beckons. I'll just get my popcorn.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?