politics

'PM should have resigned by now, but he hopes Partygate scandal will blow over'


Boris Johnson limps on as a discredited and diminished figure, hoping that the scandal of lockdown parties will be forgotten. Now, the Met Police has demanded Sue Gray delays releasing parts of her report

Boris Johnson after attending the weekly Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday
Boris Johnson after attending the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday

In a healthy democracy the police should neither be beholden to politicians nor seek to do their bidding.

The actions of the Metropolitan Police risk blurring these clear lines. It should have investigated the partying in Downing Street as soon as it was revealed by this paper.

Now, after eventually deciding there was sufficient evidence to launch a criminal inquiry, The Met has demanded Sue Gray delays releasing parts of her report.

Whether by accident or design, it has been a helpful ally of Boris Johnson who is playing for time in the hope the scandal will blow over. It may be in his interests to prolong matters but it is certainly not in the country’s.







Sue Gray’s report has not been published yet
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Image:

PA)

For as long as Partygate remains unresolved the Government is effectively paralysed.

The quickest way out of this unsatisfactory situation would have been for him to resign.

We don’t need an investigation to know he attended at least one party during lockdown or that his initial denials misled Parliament.

A Prime Minister who is honourable and decent would have quit by now. But that is not Boris Johnson, who instead limps on as a discredited and diminished figure.

What a choice

Nobody should have to decide to heat or eat. But that is the choice facing an increasing number as living costs bite.

Not everyone is struggling. The oil giants Shell and BP are set to record bumper profits.

Shell rakes in more per hour than an average nurse earns in a year. While they laugh all the way to the bank, millions turn to foodbanks.

Labour’s plan for a windfall tax on these firms would raise £6.6billion – enough to cut VAT on fuel and increase the warm homes discount. It speaks volumes that the Tories have rejected the proposal.


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