TODAY UK Times urges Boris Johnson to put Partygate behind him and focus on what really matters to Britain — the terrifying rise in prices and bills.
For months, PM, your self-inflicted scandal has been a damaging distraction with war in Europe and millions of us facing unprecedented hardship.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce new measures later to ease the pain. Great. We can’t wait to hear them.
You are right to be “appalled” by the illicit boozing detailed in Sue Gray’s definitive report.
But it is vital you move on.
Britain has far greater problems you must fix.
Now let it go
AFTER a dismal saga strung out for six long months, Sue Gray has delivered her definitive account of Partygate.
It turns out, to the disappointment of his many bitter critics, that Boris Johnson was not engaged in a non-stop orgy of criminal debauchery in Downing Street while grandmothers died alone.
Instead, we got sad photos of a sparse gathering of workmates raising a plastic cup as he popped briefly into a leaving do.
And a bleak, impromptu little birthday “celebration”, complete with cheap sarnies, which somehow even earned teetotal Rishi Sunak a fine.
If this is Boris partying, well, we’ve been in more riotous bus queues.
The PM told MPs he assumed — and was informed — that it was all above board. He probably believed just that. It was hard to imagine such innocuous encounters being illegal, though they were under the daft rules then.
That said, in both cases Boris could justifiably argue he was still working. In one picture he’s even holding his Cabinet red box . . . more proof than Sir Keir Starmer has about his curry knees-up.
Did the PM deliberately lie? It’s hard to see it.
Gray commendably pulled no punches over the far more serious boozing and revelry among civil servants.
That was obviously wrong and showed a disgraceful and knowing disregard for the rules, not to mention for No10 cleaners and security staff.
How much Boris was aware of is hard to know. Much of it happened in his absence.
Some of the Gray report, he said, came as news to him yesterday. And while he rightly accepted responsibility as the man at the top it is worth recalling what else he had on his plate:
A once-in-a-century pandemic which nearly killed him. Getting Britain vaccinated. The early stages of Brexit. His vital levelling-up agenda. Was he also meant to police hundreds of staff?
Today the PM faces two monstrous new challenges — war in Europe and the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. For the Tories to depose him at this point and waste months on a leadership election would be insane.
What matters far more is lowering bills for food, fuel and energy.
The Chancellor looks poised to do so today and he and Boris must give it a laser-like focus. Partygate, and the PM’s botched handling of it, has been a relentless and grim distraction and Britain has suffered as a result.
Put it behind you, Boris — and concentrate on far graver issues.
WE wish we had some hope that America can end its gun massacres. We just don’t.
Its politicians wring their hands, but will never ban the sale of firearms.
Even if they did today, 400million are already in circulation. They are now the No1 killer of US children.
It is a national sickness . . . and, heartbreakingly, looks incurable.