If Boris Johnson has any substance, now is the time to show it - The Yorkshire Post says

Sickening reports of civilian massacres in Ukraine demand a significant and serious response from our global leaders.

Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week hosts talks with counterparts from Germany and Poland, he must show himself to be capable of being a statesman both in appearance and in substance.

The problem is, and will continue to be, that such grave responsibilities are taking place in the context of a UK Government still mired in the ludicrous partygate scandal.

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Mr Johnson has put himself in the invidious and, were it any other premier, personally embarrassing position of having to respond to claims of Russian war crimes while also trying to play down fines issued to staff who partied during Covid-19 restrictions.

One such penalty was reportedly handed out to the Government’s former ethics chief, Helen MacNamara, while others apparently related to a gathering on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.

No 10 yesterday still declined to say whether Mr Johnson believes coronavirus laws were broken and it remains to be seen whether the Prime Minister will receive a fixed penalty notice after he told the House of Commons that no rules were breached.

While coverage of the war in Ukraine has justifiably taken more of the headlines in recent weeks, the attempts by some in leadership positions to use that as a shield to bat away the Government’s responsibilities after partygate – Welsh Secretary Simon Hart yesterday said “the world has moved on” – is as shameful as it is transparent.

And it is shambolic that this is all coming back to haunt the Government right when the business of mediating the consequences of Russia’s invasion is perhaps at its most delicate since the war began.

Mr Johnson, please, show us you have substance.