Tag Archives: partygate

Boris – one last regal porkie

Our last PM but one cropped up this week performing a fake snore in an interview when he was asked about the details of his downfall. The country though, is not snoring, but still reeling from the unstable government and moral vacuum he represented.

The Partygate scandal and select committee report have understandably concentrated on the events that Boris Johnson did attend. But in early 2022 the Daily Telegraph broke the story about two events he didn’t. It emerged that there were two parties held at No 10 the night before Prince Philip’s funeral. The famous “Winetime Friday” suitcase had been trundled to the 24-hour Co-op on the Strand to collect the booze for this event and a bacchanalian time was had by all. The Sue Gray report later confirmed the dancing, broken swing and all the rest. This at a period of national mourning and continuing lockdown; a time when no more than two people were meant to socialize indoors and no more than six outdoors.

As the details emerged Johnson did an interview with Beth Rigby on Jan 18 2022:

He wears a blue disposable mask and hangs his head in shame as Rigby begins to interrogate. There is an audible sigh at 10 minutes 52 seconds in, and what appears to be abject sorrow as he listens:

Rigby: “Was having to apologise to the Queen about those parties the night she…she laid her husband of over 70 years to rest, was that a moment of shame for you?”

Johnson: “I deeply and bitterly regret what happened and can only renew my apology both to her Majesty and to the country for the misjudgments that were made”.

A Downing St press release said a letter of apology had gone to Buckingham Palace but Johnson’s response in the Rigby interview was widely reported as, and clearly meant to give the impression that, a heartfelt in person apology was made. He had nodded miserably when Rigby said: “was that a moment of shame for you”.

So, compare and contrast with an interview with Fiona Bruce, broadcast on September 14 2022 in tribute to the Queen, six days after her death:

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Commons vote puts Boris beyond the pale

Embed from Getty Images

It was very important that there was a clear vote in support of the Privileges Committee vote on Boris Johnson’s lying.

354 votes to seven sounds good to me.

But spare a thought for Labour Chief Whip Sir Alan Campbell. If he had not shouted “No! No! No!” in the Speaker’s Ear and then followed it up with the procedural obligation of a “no” vote (he was one of the seven), then there would not have been a vote, which would have been disgraceful.

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17-18 June 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Partygate video should make Ministers “sick to their stomachs”
  • Apology is too little too late

Partygate video should make Ministers “sick to their stomachs”

Responding to the new Partygate video, as seen in The Mirror, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

Conservative MPs and Ministers should be sick to their stomachs seeing this new Partygate footage.

While families grieved and NHS staff worked on the front line, Conservative Campaign Headquarters partied. What’s worse is the current Prime Minister granted Boris Johnson’s request to give some of these people honours.

There are thousands of families out there who deserve an

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3 March 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Elderly fraud victims in Wales losing £35,000 a day to “tidal wave” of scams
  • Government’s refusal to confirm further energy support payments leaves people “living in limbo”
  • Partygate: Prime Minister must back Committee’s findings

Elderly fraud victims in Wales losing £35,000 a day to “tidal wave” of scams

Elderly fraud victims are facing a “tidal wave of scams” with losses of over £35,000 million a day, shocking new figures uncovered by the Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The party accused the Conservatives of being “asleep at the wheel” in the fight against fraud, and called for an urgent strategy to protect victims including the vulnerable and elderly from online scams.

The figures were revealed through a Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Liberal Democrats to Action Fraud, covering all fraud cases where the victim was 65 or older over the past four years. They show a staggering £51.2 million has been lost in total, meaning over-65s across Wales are losing £35,087 to fraud each day.

The analysis shows that elderly fraud is on the rise, jumping from 1,847 recorded cases in 2019 up to 3,366 cases in 2022. Financial losses were also at a new high in 2022 – with pensioners losing nearly £16.5 million, up from £6.8 million in 2021.

Since the beginning of 2019, more than 12,000 cases of fraud against pensioners have been logged in Wales.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Conservative Government for shirking its responsibility to tackle fraud. The Home Office has failed to publish the Fraud Strategy it promised in March 2022, which replaced 2021 plans for a national Fraud Action Plan that never materialised.

The party is demanding that the Government urgently publish its Fraud Strategy after months of delays. They are also calling for the creation of an Online Crime Agency that would coordinate work across the country on tackling online fraud.

Commenting on the shocking figures, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

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15 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Harper: Govt could have stopped strike misery months ago
  • Lib Dems call for Partygate conduct inquiry in ethics advisor’s ‘first test’ in post

Harper: Govt could have stopped strike misery months ago

Responding to Mark Harper on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg indicating he is hopeful for a deal to resolve the rail strikes, Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

This Government has spent months dithering, delaying and refusing to get around the table to resolve strike action. Millions of people have suffered upheaval and still, the Government won’t set out a timetable for resolution.

All of these strikes are

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6 September 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Davey: Make energy bosses pay for freezing of bills, not our children
  • Truss Speech: Only way to end crisis is to get the Conservatives out of power
  • Chope appointment to Partygate inquiry – government backs down

Davey: Make energy bosses pay for freezing of bills, not our children

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has warned that Liz Truss’ plan to make taxpayers pay for the freezing of energy bills would “make our children pick up the tab”, while letting the oil and gas companies raking in record profits off the hook.

It comes as the Liberal Democrat Leader introduces legislation in Parliament today to bring in a tougher windfall tax on companies like BP and Shell that are raking in huge profits, to fund the freezing of energy bills.

The proposed Liberal Democrat Bill would prohibit Ofgem from increasing the energy price cap above its current level in October, funded by extending and backdating the windfall tax. It also calls for small businesses to be supported with their bills, paid for by reversing Conservative tax breaks for banks.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Liz Truss spent weeks during this summer leadership contest leaving families and pensioners worried and in limbo by refusing to set out her plans to tackle soaring energy bills. Now she seems set to make our children pick up the tab for this mess, while letting oil and gas firms making record profits off the hook.

It shows Liz Truss and the Conservatives are completely out of touch with the British people.

The Liberal Democrats have today tabled legislation to protect people and businesses from sky-high heating bills this winter. This would be paid for by a tougher windfall tax on oil and gas companies and the scrapping of Conservative tax cuts for big banks.

That would be a much fairer and more responsible way to tackle rising energy bills than even more borrowing for taxpayers to pay back in the future.

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5 September 2022 – today’s other press releases

  • Truss must block Chris Chope from joining partygate inquiry
  • Action needed now to address cladding concerns

Truss must block Chris Chope from joining Partygate inquiry

The Liberal Democrats have called on Liz Truss to block Conservative MP Christopher Chope from being appointed to the privileges committee leading the Partygate inquiry, after reports he is being nominated by Boris Johnson’s government.

Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who brought in the Private Members’ Bill to ban upskirting which Chris Chope initially blocked, said:

Chris Chope’s lack of respect for MPs trying to protect women from upskirting shows the contempt he has for Parliament. There is

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Paddington Bear for ethics adviser after Geidt goes?

Wendy Chamberlain was being ironic last night when she said the only person who would now take on the job of ethic adviser to Boris Johnson’s government would be Paddington.

Last night, Lord Geidt’s resignation was a bit of a mystery. It was known that he was unhappy in his role because of the antics of the prime minister, Boris Johnson, who is his boss. Geidt had an uncomfortable session on Tuesday when he told the public administration and constitutional affairs committee it was reasonable to suggest the prime minister may have breached the ministerial code when he was fined during the Partygate scandal.

Today, we have the full correspondence between Lord Geidt and Boris Johnson. In his resignation letter, Geidt said he was being asked to judge on Johnson’s intention to risk a “purposeful and deliberate breach of the ministerial code” and he was not prepared to do that.

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It’s my party and I’ll lie if I want to – Gray report

The evidence was overwhelming before today that Johnson had been to parties when they were barred by his own government’s rules. That’s bad.

With Sue Gray’s report now before parliament and the public, it is clear if it wasn’t before, that Johnson has repeatedly lied about parties and whether he attended any. That’s seriously bad.

Gray’s report has now been published. Thirty-seven pages. Nine photos. Vomiting, red wine on the walls, fighting, sitting on laps, karaoke, pizzas, prosecco, birthday drinks, sleeping in the office, overflowing bins, leaving drunk by the back door to avoid the press pack outside the front door, along with poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. Classic signs of parties but we have been repeatedly told that there were no parties, just meetings, and Johnson did not attend any parties.

Johnson is likely to survive this because Conservatives haven’t got the guts to remove him. Although perhaps the truth is that they have no one to replace him.

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Partygate – what advice?

We are expecting Sue Gray’s report today, so I thought you might like to be reminded of the advice we were being given by the Prime Minister during the pandemic.

For example, this was from the very early days of lockdown.

Ans this one was a few days before the party in the garden at Number 10.

And this one, just two days before a gathering at Number 10 to say farewell to two members of staff, which the Police have said did breach the rules.

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Partygate: Is that all there is?

After 11 months of investigation involving 12 full time dedicated police officers, with other support and oversight as required, Operation Hillman has concluded at a cost of £460,000. During the inquiry 126 referrals for fixed penalty notices were made. Boris Johnson and his wife will not receive any further fines.

The Met said today:

“A team of twelve detectives worked through 345 documents, including emails, door logs, diary entries and witness statements, 510 photographs and CCTV images and 204 questionnaires as part of a careful and thorough enquiry.”

We now wait for the Sue Gray report.

 

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Morgan letter to Blue Wall MPs on Partygate vote

Ahead of the vote today on whether to refer the Prime Minister for investigation by the Committee of Privileges following his repeated lies on Partygate, North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has written to 50 Blue Wall Tory MPs. These MPs have slim majorities and are vulnerable to a public backlash over their support for Boris Johnson.

The vote this afternoon will be on a motion that refers Boris Johnson to the Committee of Privileges for misleading the house over partygate. The motion tabled by Labour is also signed by the leaders of the SNP, Plaid Cymru. Lib Dem, Green, Social Democratic and Labour parties, and the deputy leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. The motion says the committee “shall not begin substantive consideration of the matter until the inquiries currently being conducted by the Metropolitan Police have been concluded.” However, a Tory amendment tabled by Paymaster General Michael Ellis and Leader of the House Mark Spencer defers any decision on whether to refer Johnson to the Committee of Privileges until the police inquiry has concluded.

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Boris Johnson – you’re fired

Boris Johnson broke the law.

He partied while repeatedly telling us the importance of “staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives”. I have no issues with the laws of the time, as they were necessary to protect the immuno-compromised. What I have an issue with, however, is how we were lied to by our Prime Minister.

He had the gall to stand in parliament and deliver an “unreserved apology”, encouraging us to let the government “get on with the job”. Correct me if I’m wrong, the person giving the apology doesn’t decide when to move on, but rather the recipient of the apology does. I’m sure I speak for the majority when I say, we are not ready to move on.

Our nation’s public office holders are expected to meet the 7 standards of the Nolan Principles:

  • Selflessness
  • Integrity
  • Objectivity
  • Honesty
  • Leadership
  • Openness
  • Accountability

I honestly cannot give an example of how Boris Johnson has met a single standard.

He is the first sitting Prime Minister to break the law. He has knowingly misled parliament regarding his attendance of the aforementioned Downing Street parties. He frequently uses the Russian Invasion of Ukraine to deflect taking responsibility for his unlawful actions. When the country needed strong leadership, he fled into hiding. He was happy for civil servants to take the fall for his unlawful actions. His ties to the Kremlin, whether it be through his friendship with Baron Lebedev of Siberia or his attendance at Lebedev’s party in Italy, make him a security threat.

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Davey on Partygate: “Our prime minister just doesn’t get it”

Ed Davey has been busy appearing almost everywhere in the media in the last two days. This morning alone, Davey has spoken to BBC R4, BBC 5 Live, BBC Breakfast and Sky News. In this article, Newshound covers the interviews on Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC Breakfast.

On Today, Davey said that he was right to criticise the police originally. They changed their policy on the investigation and have since done the job well. The country is in crisis with the cost of living emergency and Ukraine. The prime minister and chancellor were dishonest. The trust in them that is vital during a crisis has gone. They should resign. The government’s got an appalling record on the economy and now they’ve broken their own laws.

These themes were picked on BBC Breakfast, when Ed Davey also spoke with passion about families not being able to see their families for five minutes when they were dying, yet the prime minister could party for five minutes. Davey also spoke emotionally about the plight of Ukrainian refugees, saying a new leadership could be true to the compassion and generosity the British on refugees rather than imposing paperwork.

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Davey: Recall parliament after PM & Chancellor fined for partygate

Boris Johnson was enjoying a boost among Conservatives this week, until today, after his snap visit to Ukraine. No matter that he looked out of place in a suit and tie alongside President Zelensky and the escort in fatigues. The Conservatives like a good war and a leader that shows resolve in a time of crisis. But Johnson looked like he was going to a party not walking in a war zone.

Rishi Sunak on the other hand, has had a lousy week. The row over his green card and his wife’s non dom tax status has failed to die down. As a tax hiking chancellor, he is getting the flack for a system that is to his advantage while he has given many low income families a choice between food, fuel and warmth. There are press briefings that he will step down and leave politics for California.

Partygate now seems a minor issue and that is the emerging defence by Conservatives this afternoon who are arguing the prime minister should not be deposed and must not resign because of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Sir Roger Gale MP, a long time critic of Boris Johnson, told BBC R4 PM this evening now is the time.

That is not the view of opposition parties. Ed Davey has called for parliament to be recalled to discuss the crisis that is engulfing the a government that is already engulfed by its own sleaze and disregard for those having to choose between fuel and the food bank.

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Partygate: Lib Dem motion to reveal if PM and officials fined by Met

The Liberal Democrats have tabled a ‘Humble Address’ motion to force the government to reveal whether Boris Johnson, ministers and senior officials have been fined by the Met police over law-breaking parties in Number 10.

The parliamentary motion would require the publication of a full list of the names of any elected officials, senior civil servants and political appointees given Fixed Penalty Notices as a result of the police investigation. It would also require the Sue Gray report to be published in full alongside any accompanying evidence including photographs.

The motion states that this information should be published no more than two days after the Metropolitan Police investigation is completed. It has been tabled by Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey and signed by all 13 of the party’s MPs.

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Johnson’s future – “Blue wall” Tory MPs targeted

On the i wesbsite, Richard Vaughan reports:

The Liberal Democrats are targeting Tory MPs representing the “Blue Wall” in the Southern shires demanding they submit a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson or face being “sacked by the public”.

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Et tu Cummins? Et tu Davies? Et tu Wragg?

He has been stabbed in the back. Stabbed in the front. Stabbed in the arras. Yet, like a Shakespearean character stretching out the last scene of a tragedy, Boris Johnson staggers on, keeping the audience enthralled with his gasping phases, bravado and sense of drama. It is a great drama but is it a way to run a country?

There is a fear, and perhaps it is a reality, that many of the government’s announcements are now all about propping up a prime minister in free fall. A clutch of backbench Tory MPs have joined opposition MPs in calling for Boris Johnson to resign. But as always Shakespeare has wisdom, as spoken by Chamberlain in Henry VIII:

“Press not a falling man too far! ’Tis virtue. His faults lie open to the laws; let them, not you, correct him. My heart weeps to see him so little of his great self.”

There will undoubtedly be more twists and turns in this drama in the next few days. But it is clear there is something rotten in the state of the Tory party.

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16 January 2022 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Dowden defence of No10 parties ‘pathetic’ say Lib Dems
  • ‘Back off our BBC!’ say Lib Dems

Dowden defence of No10 parties ‘pathetic’ say Lib Dems

Responding to Oliver Dowden’s appearance on BBC Sunday Morning, where he defended the Prime Minister and blamed an ‘underlying culture’ for the Downing Street parties, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

This pathetic attempt to defend Boris Johnson will just fan the flames of public anger against this rotten Conservative government.

Boris Johnson is once again blaming those around him instead of taking responsibility.

If he really is angry about these parties, he must be furious with

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Ed Davey: Boris why would you even want to party when people were dying

Writing in the Express, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “Boris Johnson is a man without shame, or scruples. That is, in many ways, how he managed to ascend the greasy pole.”

Explaining why he had written to Cressida Dick asking her to investigate Boris Johnson’s involvement in the continuing Partygate scandal, Davey asked how anyone of sound judgement can – let alone the prime minister – think it is somehow okay to get out the party hats and knock back the wine on the very day that the government ordered everyone to stay indoors and avoid all human contact that isn’t strictly necessary.

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Daisy Cooper: Boris Johnson must resign #bbcqt

In a confident performance on BBC Question Time on Thursday night, Daisy Cooper tackled the question of the day. Should Boris Johnson resign?

She was forthright. The prime minister has broken the law. He has lied to parliament and the public. He must resign and the police should investigate.

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Where were the police?

Much has already been written about the revelations – which seem to increase on a daily basis – of illegal gatherings at No 10, but little has been said about the role of the police during those times.

It seems the Met Police have fined over 17,700 people for breaching Covid laws over the last two years, including some for holding gatherings of over 30 people.

So where were they on 20th May 2020? – and on 15th May 2020, 13th November 2020, 27th November 2020, 10th December 2020, 15th December 2020 (according to this timeline)?

The police were, of course, actually on the spot. No 10, naturally, has a high level of security, with uniformed and plain clothed officers present at all times. Did they warn the staff about breaches? And when the offences were repeated why did they not issue fines?

Boris Johnson has now admitted that he attended the event on 20th May – and there are clear photos of his attendance on 15th May.  At the very least the Met Police should investigate. And it should also be taken to task for not investigating at the time.

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The damage caused by this Government now includes psychological harm – we need them gone

This morning I was looking on Twitter at the heartbreaking messages from people who had not been able to see their loved ones before they died in May 2020 due to the Covid rules in force at the time, or to attend family funerals or visit relatives in care homes. These are deeply hurtful and scarring experiences.

I also thought to myself, how do most people feel about being told in the Spring of 2020 that they could, legally, only meet up with one person outdoors, now they know that there were parties with 30 or more people held in Downing Street at the very same time? Or about members of the public being fined by the police for breaking the same rules the Prime Minister introduced – yet broke – himself whilst, of course, concealing the truth from everyone?

I turned to thinking about Brexit and the damage and uncertainty caused to multiple interests, especially famers and fishing communities, but also to students and people who used to move regularly between the UK and the EU. This article is not about comparing the tragedies of Covid and Brexit, as Covid is infinitely worse due to the enormity of the loss of life and the associated heartache, but it is about the same way the Conservative Government has handled these two major catastrophes and continues to do so – and the kind of damage their duplicity has surely done to many people’s mental health.

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Why we’re so livid about the Downing Street parties

I’ve not had a huge amount of sleep. I went to bed too late and woke up too early.

Why? I’m livid. And, like many millions of people, emotions that I’ve been struggling with but keeping below the surface, are breaking through.

We’ve been going through hell, and the more we hear about the culture in Government that made them think that it was fine to sit outside in the sunshine and party when millions couldn’t comfort their dying or bereaved relatives, or had to endure intolerable suffering alone, the more we relive our experiences.

If you watched the BBC News last night, you’ll have seen a woman called Lisa recount how she had to watch her brother take his last breath on an iPad at around the same time the May 2020 BYOB party was going on in the Downing Street Garden. She is a friend of mine. So is her sister Jenni, who spoke to the Daily Record:

Jenni said: “They were telling us to stick to the rules but they thought it was OK to have a party.

“We couldn’t comfort one another but they’re having cheese and wine in the garden. They’re laughing at us and think this is OK?”

“We feel traumatised by what has happened, almost like we have PTSD because of our experience and then all these revelations come out that Boris and his staff are telling us to do one thing while they do another.

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Email on Number 10 drinks party “adding insult to injury” – Ed Davey

Responding to reports by ITV News that Downing Street staff were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden during the national lockdown on May 20 2020, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This is yet more evidence that while the vast majority of people were sticking to the rules, those in Number Ten were breaking them.

It is a kick in the teeth for everyone who has sacrificed so much during the pandemic, from those who weren’t able to visit loved ones in hospital to nurses left wearing binbags as PPE.

To add insult to injury, on

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