This is the only explanation for interminable delays to the release of senior civil servant Sue Gray’s report into the Downing Street parties and social events that contravened lockdown laws – and the established view that Boris Johnson was trying to dictate the manner of its publication to best suit his own interests.
And while the Tory leader did concede that misleading Parliament is a resignation matter, even for a serving premier, the impasse over the Gray report saw another controversy emerge which raised new questions about Mr Johnson’s fitness to lead.
For, having previously denied that he intervened, purportedly at his wife’s behest, to sanction the rescue of animals from Kabul following a campaign by former Royal Marine “Pen” Farthing, a letter now emerges in which Lord Goldsmith, a Foreign Office Minister, wrote that the “PM has just authorised” staff and animals “to be evacuated”. This was then followed by furious denials from Downing Street staff again left wrongfooted by Mr Johnson’s propensity for misleading voters in a way that would shame his predecessors.
And while the rescue of stray animals from Afghanistan is a totally different proposition to Downing Street’s rulebreaking in lockdown, there is one common theme – Mr Johnson’s lies – and this is why this newspaper today urges eminent Parliamentarians on all sides to re-evaluate how best to uphold the Ministerial Code, and standards in public life, so the once respected office of Prime Minister is never again sullied by the shameful abuses of power currently being witnessed.
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