Yet more chaos in Downing Street

Yet another week where the Prime Minister has floundered, and the country has struggled.

The week started with a Tory former chief whip urging Boris Johnson to withdraw an insinuation about the Labour leader Starmer refusing to prosecute the serial sex offender Jimmy Savile and which saw scenes where Starmer was accosted outside Parliament.

The UK Statistics Authority last week officially rebuked Boris Johnson and Priti Patel for misleadingly claiming that crime had fallen, following a letter of complaint by Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng then claimed this weekend that fraud isn’t something people experience in their day-to-day lives.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats show there were 100,393 fraud offences referred to the police in London last year, 8,957 fraud offences in Surrey which is home to Kwasi Kwarteng’s constituency of Spelthorne, and 11,829 fraud offences in Essex which includes Priti Patel’s seat of Witham.

Boris Johnson refused to agree to correct the record, after being challenged to by Ed Davey at PMQs on Wednesday.

Sir John Major’s keynote speech at the Institute for Government on Thursday was damning, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

“This damning criticism should act as a wake-up call to every Conservative MP who is sitting on their hands while Boris Johnson trashes the values that underpin our democracy.

“If Conservative backbenchers show the same bravery that John Major has shown, our country could finally move on from Boris Johnson and his lies.”

Later that day Johnson’s own office saw an unexpected resignation as his top policy aide quit over his false claim that the leader of the Labour opposition Sir Keir Starmer failed to prosecute serial sex offender Jimmy Savile when he was director of public prosecutions.

The PM first made the remark on 31st January as he came under attack over Sue Gray’s report on Downing Street parties. Not to mention finally Cressida Dick resigned over a loss of confidence from the public in her leadership and the Met Police.

The Brexit saga rumbles on, with new Brexit minister Jacot Rees-Mogg farcically writing to the Sun readers looking for opportunities and solutions – a mere six years too late in my opinion, whilst a new report by a cross-party group of MPs published this week highlighted that Brexit is damaging British trade and costing businesses billions in red tape.

Conservatives’ slavish adherence to damaging ideology trumps common sense it seems in 21st Century Britain.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chair Dame Meg Hillier MP said on Wednesday that the only detectable impact of Brexit so far had been a “clear increase in costs, paperwork and border delays”, hardly worth wasting billions for really. The latest report on Brexit is found here.

Finally, even Tory MPs are warning that Boris Johnson must not fight to stay on as prime minister if he is fined by police over Downing Street parties.

The news comes after exclusive polling for The Independent showed the Conservatives face a brutal backlash from voters – a record 75 per cent think Johnson should go if he is found guilty of breaking Covid rules, but of course he denies he’ll go.

It seems Johnson isn’t quite as Teflon as he believed.

All that remains to wonder this week is will Southwest Wiltshire’s current MP Dr Andrew Murrison, a self-admitted ardent Johnson fan and himself a committed Brexiter, continue to support a potentially law breaking Prime Minister?

Keep the popcorn handy as the farce of British Government rolls on.

* Ellen Nicholson is a Registered Nurse, Borough Councillor in Woking, portfolio holder and member of the executive, directly elected member of the Liberal Democrats Health and Care Association executive, and member of the South East regional board.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • I note that police are investigating death threats to Starmer..Sky’s Kay Burley dragged Minister Chris Philp into an admission that ‘Jimmy Savile insults were not used on previous demonstrations against ministers because, “Jimmy Savile wasn’t an issue at the time”
    A admission in his ‘car crash’ interview that Ed Davey and other ‘honourable members’ have noted..

  • Russell Simpson 13th Feb '22 - 2:18pm

    This week’s “More or Less” on radio 4 did a great piece on the PM’s use of statistics. It would funny if not so serious. And this piece in today’s Observer by Nick Cohen is well written

  • Jascon Connor 13th Feb '22 - 2:45pm

    I think Cressida Dick was made scapegoat for things that went wrong in the Met Police. To say there is a loss of confidence from the public in her leadership and the Met Police is an erroneous assumption. It’s strange how the Mayor of London’s failings on crime are totally ignored by the author of this article; knife crime on the up, no attempt to increase the number of police staff in our Safer Neighbourhood Teams, the closure of police station sanctioned for his war on culture. I remember when we had 6 SNT officers patrolling our streets but am now lucky to see one. This reduction in staff was not down to the Met Police Commissioner. These local police build up links with their own communities and are an effective crime fighting force, Ken Livingstone for all his faults would never have cut them back. I also agree with other views that she was bullied out of the job. I don’t remember that happening to the previous male Met Commissioners.

  • Jason Connor 13th Feb '22 - 5:42pm

    I disagree with the comment ‘Cressida Dick resigned over a loss of confidence from the public in her leadership and the Met Police’ and this seems to be an erroneous assumption or statement not based on fact. I agree with the views that she was bullied out of her job by the mayor. I am sure that this would not have happened to a male commissioner so have put in a formal complaint. The Met Commissioner was made a scapegoat for wrongdoing in the Met. The Mayor on the other hand gets away with rising knife crime in London, sanctioning the closure of ever more police stations and a continuing reduction in Safer Neighbourhood Policing team numbers. The SNT teams when fully resourced did an excellent job in tackling anti social behaviour and more serious crime in their own neighbourhoods by building a rapport with the communities they serve. I have no confidence whatsoever Sadiq Khan’s ability as Mayor to oversee a decline in all types of crime in London.

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