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Old 13-11-21, 15:11   #1
 
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Red Arrow NEW UK PM: Presenter Faints on Air During Debate

Fresh Sleaze Claims as Tories Take 1.5million From Oil and Gas Donors under Boris Johnson

No 10 faces legal challenge to PM’s support for Priti Patel on bullying claims Senior civil servants’ union move for judicial review allegations adds to pressure on Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson holiday villa linked to Zac Goldsmith firms accused of tax evasion -Costa del Sol property firms owned by Goldsmith family ordered to pay €24m in unpaid taxes and fines

Boris Johnson has been blasted for climate change hypocrisy over Tory party funding as Electoral Commission records shows donations stretching back to 2019 linking the Conservatices with oil and gas magnates

BBC News 13 NOV 2021.








Boris Johnson decided Priti Patel Home Secretary, had not breached the ministerial code. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK PARLIAMENT/AFP/Getty Images





The government faces a legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s decision to back Priti Patel over bullying allegations, throwing a fresh spotlight on the prime minister’s approach to ethics in public life.

Alex Allan, Johnson’s independent adviser on the ministerial code, resigned last year after the prime minister chose not to act on a critical report about Patel.

After a Cabinet Office investigation, citing instances in which she had shouted and sworn at staff, Allan found Patel had displayed “behaviour that can be described as bullying” and that she had “not consistently met the high standards expected of her”.

His report suggested she had breached the ministerial code, even if unintentionally.


Boris Johnson says the UK is not ‘remotely a corrupt country’. Is it?


Johnson decided she had not breached the code, however, and subsequently urged his colleagues to “form a square around the Prittster”.

The FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, has brought a judicial review of his decision, probing the legal status of the ministerial code, which will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice next Wednesday and Thursday.

Dave Penman, the FDA’s general secretary, said: “Civil servants should expect to work with ministers without fear of being bullied or harassed.

“The prime minister’s decision, which he said reflected the home secretary’s assertion that her actions were unintentional, also potentially allows ministers to avoid the consequences of their behaviour in future by pleading that it should be the intent of their actions which is important, not the consequences.

“The result is that civil servants’ confidence in challenging unacceptable behaviour from ministers has been fatally damaged.”

He added that 90% of civil servants in a recent survey carried out by the union said they had no confidence in the ministerial code as a way of dealing with bullying or harassment by ministers.

Johnson took the unusual step earlier this week of insisting the UK is “not remotely a corrupt country”, amid a slew of sleaze claims after his botched bid to protect disgraced former MP Owen Paterson from a 30-day suspension for paid lobbying.

Decisions on whether backbench MPs have breached their code of conduct are taken by the cross-party committee for standards, after an investigation by the independent watchdog, Kathryn Stone, and must then be rubber-stamped by the House of Commons.

But the prime minister is the ultimate arbiter of whether the ministerial code has been broken – and Johnson chose to override Allan’s findings in Patel’s case.

The home secretary subsequently reached a six-figure settlement with the former permanent secretary of her department, Sir Philip Rutnam, after claims that he was forced out of his job for intervening in her alleged bullying.

Whitehall sources said that Rutnam received a £340,000 settlement with a further £30,000 in costs. He had threatened to take the home secretary to an employment tribunal hearing.

Resigning in February last year, Rutnam claimed he had been the victim of a “vicious and orchestrated campaign against him”, which Patel had organised. Patel has consistently denied that claim and rejected allegations of bullying.

A report from the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life, published last week, urged the government to strengthen the powers of the independent adviser on ministers’ interests – currently Lord Geidt, who was appointed to succeed Allan.

The committee said he should be able to launch his own investigations; his reports should be published promptly; and the government should publish the range of sanctions that could be applied to ministers who breach the rules in future.

“Meaningful independence is the benchmark for any effective form of standards regulation and current arrangements for the adviser still fall below this bar,” the committee said.






Zac Goldsmith (left) is a longstanding friend of Johnson and his wife, Carrie. In 2019, the PM personally appointed Goldsmith to the House of Lords. Photograph: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images




Under strain Boris Johnson faces a crisis over sleaze


















Villa Tramores, where Johnson stayed





The luxury villa where Boris Johnson stayed on holiday last month is linked to Costa del Sol property businesses owned by Zac Goldsmith’s family that engaged in a multimillion-pound tax evasion scheme, according to Spanish courts.

Court papers obtained by the Guardian show tax inspectors ordered two property companies owned by the Goldsmith family to pay €24m (£20m) in unpaid taxes and fines after investigating what they said was a suspicious property deal.

The tax authority’s findings have been upheld by one of Spain’s highest courts, with judges agreeing the companies effectively engaged in a deliberate effort to evade tax and committed “serious” violations of the law.

Documents indicate Spanish authorities are still seeking to recover the funds and could even seize parts of the family’s land, which is spread across more than 600 hectares (1,480 acres) of private woodland about 10 miles from the Marbella coastline.

A Swiss lawyer for one of the companies denied the case amounted to a “tax evasion” issue, describing it as a dispute that resulted from a mistaken land valuation by Spanish tax authorities. She said the finding against her client was “extremely hard to understand, to put it mildly”. Court papers indicate there will be a further appeal.

However, the revelation raises difficult questions for the prime minister, who has already faced criticism for refusing to declare his use of the luxury property in the MPs’ register of interests, which would require him to disclose the monetary value of the gift from the Goldsmith family.

Villa Tramores, where Johnson stayed, was not owned by a company involved in the tax investigation but forms part of the Goldsmiths’ property holdings. Photograph: Tramores

Downing Street has insisted the holiday at the villa, which costs £25,000 a week to rent, was “unconnected with the PM’s parliamentary and political activities”. Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative minister, is a longstanding friend of Johnson and his wife, Carrie. In 2019, Johnson personally appointed Goldsmith to the House of Lords after his friend lost his seat as an MP.

Johnson is now likely to be asked how much he knew of the Spanish tax investigation into companies owned by the Tory minister’s family before staying at their villa, which is in a secluded corner of an estate beside swimming pools, a tennis court and an organic farm.

The revelations raise questions for both Goldsmith, a senior minister, and his brother Ben, a non-executive director at the environment department, about the extent to which they were aware of or involved in the property deal .





Neither brother responded in detail to questions about the extent of their knowledge or involvement in the transactions at the heart of the tax investigation. In an email, Ben Goldsmith said: “This whole thing serves as a warning to any Brit thinking of owning a property in Spain.”

The Goldsmith brothers inherited their wealth from their father, Sir James Goldsmith, who died in 1997 with a £1.2bn fortune. Goldsmith senior’s wealth now resides in a discretionary trust run for the benefit of his children. It is understood that not all of the children have an interest in the Spanish property portfolio.

The family first acquired the Tramores estate, the site of the villa where Johnson stayed, in the 1980s. By 1999, the Goldsmiths are understood to have used a company linked to a Cayman Islands structure to acquire additional land bordering the villa, effectively expanding their estate.

More recently, separate Goldsmith-owned offshore companies have been used to own the patchwork of land and properties, which are all situated in the same hills surrounding the quiet mountain village of Benahavís.

The Swiss lawyer, who represents one of the companies accused of evading tax, Guadalmansa Administraciones, said the villa where Johnson stayed was “entirely separate” from the property ensnared in the tax dispute.

However, while the villa Johnson stayed in was not owned by a company involved in the tax investigation, public records suggest it forms part of the Goldsmiths’ wider sprawling property holdings in Benahavís.

It is unclear why Zac Goldsmith has only declared one of at least three companies that own parts of his family’s land outside the village. The Lords register of interests lists only a Spanish and Maltese company as holding an interest in land in Andalucía.

But documents suggest a more complex trust structure has been used to hold land in the area and generate income from holiday rentals, including companies that have not been declared. A spokesperson for the peer insisted: “All reportable interests have been correctly and transparently declared.”

Spain’s tax agency first began investigating the Goldsmith family’s companies in 2012. Inspectors homed in on an unusual property deal when one of the companies transferred land on a large estate to a related company.

According to court papers, in 2008 – two years before Goldsmith became an MP – the minister’s family segregated parts of its land near Benahavís village and transferred it from one of their companies – Guadalmansa Administraciones – to another called Benaltos Inversiones in exchange for satisfying a €5m debt owed to the company.

However, inspectors alleged the debt was in fact “fictitious” and the companies should have treated the transaction as a “profitable transfer” rather than a debt repayment. They alleged the transaction significantly undervalued the land, which they estimated was in fact worth €23.2m.

After a year-long investigation, the agency ordered the companies to pay a combined €24m in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. It alleged the companies had violated a law requiring the transfer of assets between related parties to be valued at their normal market value.

Crucially, inspectors alleged the companies failed to properly declare the financial gains arising from the transfer by filing inaccurate tax returns.

In 2016, Spain’s central economic-administrative court (CEAT) rejected an appeal by the companies against the agency’s decision.

Lawyers for the companies had argued the €5m debt owed by Guadalmansa to Benaltos was genuine and a valuation of the property commissioned by the tax agency was flawed. They claimed the fines were disproportionate.

Downing Street has insisted the holiday at the villa was ‘unconnected with the PM’s parliamentary and political activities’

The court, however, accepted the debt was artificial and not a normal commercial arrangement, noting that “several companies domiciled in tax havens” were involved “for no apparent economic reason”.

The court also accepted the tax agency’s valuation of the property and noted that just eight months after the transfer the land was used as security for a loan and valued at €23m. According to the ruling, there was “no doubt” Benaltos was guilty and its improper actions had “resulted in a loss to the public treasury”.

Two years later, one of Spain’s highest courts, the audiencia nacional, upheld the tax court’s ruling. Documents suggest a further appeal has been filed before Spain’s supreme court, but the companies can only appeal against the 2018 ruling on a point of law rather than on the facts of the case.

The Swiss lawyer representing Guadalmansa maintains the Spanish tax agency significantly overvalued the property. It said the assessment was “based entirely on one wildly aberrant valuation” by an agency-appointed valuation company which has since acknowledged they “made a mistake”.

It added: “The purchase was proper, and all taxes associated with the property have always been paid in full.”

Meanwhile, the two Goldsmith companies investigated by tax authorities appear to be in financial jeopardy. Both were placed into voluntary insolvency in 2019. Documents suggest that by April last year, as a result of the dispute, they owed more than €20m to their biggest creditor: the Spanish state.
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Old 17-11-21, 11:24   #2
 
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Update re: Boris SLEAZE:He Rambles-Compares Himself to Moses & Praises Peppa Pig in Bizarre

Boris SLEAZE: Johnson to Face Questions Over MPs' Second Jobs Row

Boris Johnson will face questions from across Parliament later, as a row about MPs' second jobs continues to engulf Westminster.

BBC News 17 NOV 2021






The PM announced plans on Tuesday to stop MPs working as political consultants, ahead of a Commons debate later.




Owen Paterson, who has resigned as an MP, denies breaking Commons lobbying rules


Labour wants to ban all second jobs, apart from "public service" roles or professions requiring registration.

The row comes after ex-Tory MP Owen Paterson broke Commons lobbying rules.

MPs will vote later on whether to back the government's or Labour's blueprint for resolving the increasingly fraught debate over outside roles.

Before that, Mr Johnson will face MPs during Prime Minister's Questions at 12:00 GMT, and appear before a committee of senior MPs at 15:00.

In his surprise announcement on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said MPs should no longer be able to hold jobs advising firms on how Parliament works.

He also proposed a new rule that any outside role, paid or unpaid, should be "within reasonable limits" and not stop MPs fully serving their constituents.

This is yet to be defined, but International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has suggested 15 hours a week as a reasonable limit.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, she added there was a "common sense test there that we all understand" on what was appropriate.

Labour has welcomed the ban on paid political consultancy, which it has been proposing for a number of years.

In addition, the party wants a wider ban, with exemptions only for MPs holding jobs as doctors or nurses, or in the police and as Army reservists.

The proposed ban on political consultancy is yet to be finalised, with both sides in agreement that the cross-party Commons Standards Committee should draw up detailed rules.

That committee, which has been reviewing the rules for some months, is due to publish its own report on the matter in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday afternoon, MPs will debate competing visions for how the crisis over second jobs should be resolved.

Labour's suggestion would order the standards committee to draw up rules by 31 January to implement the consultancy ban.

If the government did not offer MPs a vote on these rules within 15 days, backbench MPs would gain the power to force one.

However, the government has tabled an amendment - or proposed an alternative - to this plan.


'Dirty Tricks'


This proposal would see the committee coming up with recommendations by the same date, but what happens next is left unclear.

Shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire accused the government of playing "dirty tricks" by using less specific language in its motion.

The PM announced his political consultancy ban on Tuesday, whilst Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was holding a press conference on his party's own proposals.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Sir Keir described Mr Johnson's move as a "significant victory for the Labour Party".

He told reporters: "Be under no illusion, the prime minister has only done this U-turn because his back was against the wall."

Arguments over second jobs held by MPs outside of Westminster have intensified in recent weeks in the wake of the Mr Paterson's case.

The Conservative MP was found to have broken Commons rules by using his position to lobby for two companies paying him.

Mr Paterson, who has always denied wrongdoing, called the investigation into his conduct unfair.

The government then tried to block his suspension from Parliament, and get the whole disciplinary process for MPs reviewed.

But it abandoned the plan a day later, after an outcry from opposition MPs and some Tories. Mr Paterson then resigned as an MP.


'Deflection'


Since then, the work of a number of MPs has come under scrutiny, including Tory MP and former Attorney General, Sir Geoffrey Cox, who earned more than £700,000 doing legal work in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on top of his MP salary.

Senior backbench Tory MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has said he has "no problem" with a ban on paid consultancy work.

But, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he warned that going further could deter people with "good skills" from entering Parliament.

The SNP's Alison Thewliss told BBC Newsnight that voters should treat the government's plan "with the same cynicism that many of us in [the Commons] treat it with, because nothing is changing."

"It is just deflection by this government, trying to cover up and hide this scandal," she adds.
END


NB: He is back on 'The COKE'....Note his bloodshot RED EYES & SWOLLEN DRY PINK LIPS....

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Old 23-11-21, 09:55   #3
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze: MPs Who Want PM to GO are Intimidated & Blackmailed

Boris Johnson Loses His Place -Compares Himself to Moses & Rambles About Peppa Pig in BIZARRE Business Speech

The Prime Minister also jokingly quoted Lenin, talked about how he used to scorn wind farms and electric cars, and impersonated a car saying: “Broom broom brah brah!”

Daily Mirror 23 NOV 2021.





He lost his place and spent 20 seconds rifling through his notes, muttering: “Forgive me” before then rambling about Peppa Pig in a bizarre speech to business leaders.


The Prime Minister had hoped to steady wobbles to his leadership over high-speed rail,care and sleaze with a speech to the CBI conference.

Trumping the speech ahead of time, No10 announced new homes in England will have to include electric vehicle charging points, adding "up to" 140,000 new points per year.

But it went off the rails after he lost his place and spent just over 20 seconds rifling through his notes, muttering “forgive me” three times and "blast it". Business leaders in the tent appeared unsure how to react.

He then went into a lengthy diversion about Peppa Pig World - which is almost 6 hours' drive from South Shields - after visiting it yesterday.

He demanded to know why business leaders in South Shields had not visited the children’s attraction 330 miles away in Hampshire


The Prime Minister also jokingly quoted Lenin, referred to himself as Moses, talked about how he used to scorn wind farms and electric cars, and impersonated an accelerating car saying: “Broom broom brah brah!”

The Labour Party tweeted: “The joke’s not funny any more”.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “Businesses are crying out for clarity. Instead, all they got was Boris Johnson rambling on about Peppa Pig.

“It is a perfect metaphor for Johnson’s chaotic, incompetent Government as it trashes our economy, but it is not worthy of a British Prime Minister.


All the ridiculous moments from Boris Johnson's 'shambolic' Peppa Pig business speech

"The Prime Minister famously said he was going to “f” business - the least he could do is to deliver a decent f-ing speech.”

North East businessman Richard Swart, who is global sales and quality director at County Durham manufacturer Berger Group and chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum, told the Mirror the speech was "catastrophic".

He said: "This was way below par for a Prime Minister, especially given the multitude of challenges this country is facing.

"We are desperate for statesmanlike behaviour to help us navigate through Covid, Brexit, labour shortages and other challenges we face.




Boris Johnson was seen enjoying a day at Peppa Pig World theme park in the New Forest with his one-year-old son


"It is time for the Tory Party to put ideological loyalties to one side, focus on what's good for the country and choose more responsible leadership."

An ITV reporter even asked Mr Johnson "is everything OK?" to which he replied: "I think people got the vast majority of the points I wanted to make and I thought it went over well."

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: "The PM's shambolic CBI speech shows how unseriously he takes British business, and how he lacks any plan for growth."

Mr Johnson's surprise reference to Peppa Pig came shortly after he regained his place in his speech.

He said: "Yesterday I went, as we all must, to Peppa Pig World."I don’t know if you’ve been to Peppa Pig world, who’s been, hands up anyone who’s been to Peppa Pig World? ...Not enough."



Peppa Pig World is almost six hours' drive from the venue he was speaking at in South Shields.

He added: "I loved it and Peppa Pig World is very much my kind of place. It has very safe streets, err… discipline in schools, heavy emphasis on new mass transit systems, even if they’re a bit stereotypical about Daddy Pig."

Praising the character as an example of British innovation, he continued: "Who would have believed that a pig that looks like a hairdryer or possibly a Picasso-like hairdryer, a pig that was rejected by the BBC, would now be exported to 180 countries with theme parks both in America and China?"





Boris Johnson gave a rambling speech to business leaders in South Shields


The BBC has later confirmed it had not rejected Peppa Pig.



Mr Johnson made eyebrow-raising claims about high-speed rail and business.

He boasted: "Last week we announced three vast new high speed lines, cutting the time from London to Manchester by an hour and creating a new Crossrail of the North."

That is despite the fact the "three vast new high-speed lines" were in fact the fragments left over after previous plans for new high-speed track were slashed.

He also said “I’ve never been anything other than business’s number one fan,” despite privately saying “f*** business” in a 2018 row over Brexit.

Meanwhile Mr Johnson predicted workers will come back to offices despite soaring Covid cases.

He said: "There are also sound evolutionary reasons why Mother Nature does not like working from home, so I prophesise people will come back.




Mr Johnson predicted workers will come back to offices despite soaring Covid cases





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Old 04-12-21, 11:23   #4
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze: MPs Who Want PM to GO are Intimidated & Blackmailed

Labour MPs Report BORIS Johnson to Police Over 2020 Christmas Parties

Met asked to investigate reports of alleged breaches of COVID Lockdown Rules at No 10


The Guardian UK, 4 DEC 2021.










Oliver Dowden has said No 10 and central Conservative party will continue with Christmas functions despite the arrival of the Omicron variant in the UK. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty


The prime minister has been reported to the police by Labour MPs over allegations there were at least two parties in Downing Street during lockdown restrictions last year.

Neil Coyle, Labour MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, wrote to the Met police commissioner, Cressida Dick, asking her to investigate reports that the prime minister spoke at a leaving do in November and also allowed a staff Christmas party to go ahead in December.

At the time, there were lockdown restrictions in place preventing socialising. After sending the letter, Coyle said: “I believe they broke the law. Most of my constituents followed the rules; those that didn’t faced penalties. Johnson is not above the law, despite his bloated self-entitlement.”

Barry Gardiner, the former shadow international trade secretary, also asked the Met to investigate, adding: “If these events did take place, it implies there is one rule for the government and another for everyone else.

Johnson has not explicitly denied the parties took place but No 10 has insisted “all Covid rules were followed”. Earlier on Friday, the Metropolitan police had said it had not yet received any complaints about the parties.

Separately, the former regional chief prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, called for the forthcoming public inquiry into the pandemic to examine alleged lockdown breaches at the two Downing Street parties last year as well as Dominic Cummings’s journeys to the north-east.

Afzal wants the inquiry, which is due to start in the new year, to examine how compliant officials were with the government’s own rules and guidance and the impact of the alleged breaches on public compliance.

In a letter sent to the prime minister on Friday, Afzal’s lawyers said the inquiry should have “full authority to explore the role of individuals in government, and those connected to the government, in devising the regulations, complying with them themselves and, in turn, ensuring the public’s confidence and compliance with those regulations, as well as the impact of non-compliance”.

The letter cited Afzal’s concerns about Cummings travelling to Durham and Barnard Castle at the height of the first lockdown when he was chief aide to the prime minister.

It added: “This was not the only example of non-compliance to emerge at the time and, in the light of recent revelations about a party held at Downing Street last Christmas, it is likely that more will emerge.”

It comes as the Conservatives said they were pressing ahead with this year’s Christmas party in spite of scientists’ fears over the spread of Omicron, as their co-chair told people to “keep calm and carry on” with festivities.

“We obviously wouldn’t set out details of private functions in No 10 but, as I say, there will be festive events in the run-up to Christmas,” said Oliver Dowden.


He told Sky News: “The message to people, I think, is fairly straightforward – which is: keep calm, carry on with your Christmas plans. We’ve put the necessary restrictions in place, but beyond that keep calm and carry on.”


Asked about the Tories’ own party plans, he told BBC Breakfast: “I think it is still planned, and I don’t intend to cancel it as chairman of the Conservative party.”

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Old 08-01-22, 17:04   #5
 
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Popcorn re: BORIS Sleeze: MPs Who Want PM to GO are Intimidated & Blackmailed

‘Funds For Favours’: Geidt Pressed to Reopen Investigation Into PM’s Flat

Emergence of ‘great exhibition’ messages seems to undermine ethics adviser’s finding, says Labour

The Guardian UK 8 JAN 2022.








Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser has been accused of failing to investigate a potential “funds for favours” scandal after the prime minister was cleared of rule-breaking over his Downing Street flat refurbishment.



Christopher Geidt shut his investigation without commenting on Johnson seeking funds for the works from a Conservative donor while promising to consider plans for a “great exhibition”. Expectations also faded that another inquiry, led by parliament’s standards commissioner Kathryn Stone, would go ahead.


However, it emerged that the UK’s data watchdog has launched an investigation into the Cabinet Office after a complaint that it failed to release WhatsApp messages exchanged between Boris Johnson and the Tory peer who financed his flat renovation,.. David Brownlow.


Pressure on Lord Geidt to reopen his investigation mounted on Friday night when Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said his decision to close the case “raises a number of serious concerns and questions”.


She claimed the original finding that Lord Brownlow had “altruistic and philanthropic motives” for paying for the flat refurbishment, and that there was “no reasonably perceived conflict”, appeared undermined by the WhatsApp messages.

The existence of the messages emerged as part of a probe by the Electoral Commission that concluded in December but their contents were only published on Thursday.





They showed Johnson told Brownlow parts of his No 11 flat were a “tip” and he was keen for his decor designer to “get on with it”, asking if he could put her in touch “for approvals”. The prime minister added: “PS am on the great exhibition plan Will revert.”


In his reply, Brownlow said he would “get it sorted” and “approval is a doddle as it’s only me and I know where the £ will come from”, adding: “Thanks for thinking about GE2.”

The great exhibition plan was backed by Brownlow, who several weeks later met to discuss it with the then culture secretary, Oliver Dowden. On Friday, Johnson’s spokesperson confirmed that No 10 passed on an inquiry about the suggested event to Dowden’s department.

Johnson was forced to offer a “humble and sincere apology” for not recalling the messages, and blamed “security issues” – thought to relate to when his personal phone number was posted online – for not having access to the phone they were on.

Rayner said it was “irrelevant” whether Brownlow’s motives were altruistic, and added: “The issue is that a reasonable person could surely perceive that his financial relationship with the prime minister has provided him with privileged access to government, and that relationship was undeclared at the time.”

Rayner accused Geidt of holding Johnson to a “far weaker” standard for potential conflict of interests than that set out in the MPs’ code of conduct, adding: “This suggests that you will hold ministers to a lower standard of transparency than backbench MPs.”

She called on Geidt to publish a new or amended report, but senior Whitehall sources downplayed such a possibility. “It’s probably not going to get anywhere,” said one. “I’m sure Lord Geidt will issue a polite reply.”

While Stone was waiting for the Electoral Commission and Geidt’s inquiry to conclude before proceeding, the standards commissioner was said to be unlikely to launch an investigation of her own. This is because Johnson’s flat was used by him in a ministerial capacity, meaning any potential wrongdoing would need to be judged against the ministerial code.

Rayner called on 9 December for Stone to launch an investigation into whether Johnson broke the rule that MPs have to be honest, given the non-disclosure of the texts with Brownlow. However, even if Stone dismisses it, Labour could make a separate complaint based on the new evidence that emerged this week.

The MPs’ code of conduct makes clear that ministers are bound by the ministerial code, which is not enforced by the standards commissioner. But it adds allegations about “failure to abide by the rules on lobbying for reward or consideration” are within Stone’s scope.

In further criticism of Geidt’s inquiry, Labour’s lawyers wrote to him on 4 January after stories appeared in the press suggesting Johnson would be cleared of breaching the ministerial code. The solicitors’ firm Edwards Duthie Shamash said the “apparent failure” of Geidt’s investigation to obtain the WhatsApp messages was “more than unfortunate”.


Geidt was accused in the letter of “failure to ask the searching questions necessary to get to the truth of this matter and that such failures should not allow the prime minister to escape the consequences of apparent breaches of the ministerial code”.

The lawyers added: “The recent briefings have done little to restore my client’s faith in the processes over which you preside.” Geidt did not respond, but his office said in reply to another letter sent several weeks previously that it “is not generally appropriate” for him to “engage in legal correspondence in respect of the discharge of his functions”.

Separately, the Cabinet Office is being investigated after it was asked in a Freedom of Information request for all correspondence between Johnson and Brownlow but claimed there was nothing to hand over.

The data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), received a letter from Rayner in December raising “concerns” because the Electoral Commission report had unearthed texts exchanged between Johnson and Brownlow. “We are now conducting inquiries about the handling of this request,” a senior official at the ICO confirmed in response, saying it was a “live case”.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, defended Geidt, saying he was “very well respected and has a very fiercely independent role”.

Downing Street said Brownlow was given no special treatment. “Ministers have a range of ideas and proposals put to them by various people – through MPs, through other parties,” Johnson’s spokesperson said.


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Old 12-01-22, 10:36   #6
 
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Downing Street Partygate: Tory MPs Demand Answers From Boris Johnson

Conservative and opposition MPs are demanding answers from Boris Johnson on whether he attended a drinks event in the No 10 garden during lockdown.


‘No longer a question of if PM will go, it is when’

BBC News 12 JAN 2022.







The PM is set to face questions he has so far declined to answer


Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said that if he was there, and he lied about it, his position is "untenable".


And Tory MPs have been expressing their anger and concern over the reports.

Mr Johnson will appear at Prime Minister's Questions later - his first public appearance since details of the May 2020 event emerged.

The prime minister has so far declined to say whether he attended the gathering, but witnesses have told the BBC both he and his wife were among 30 people at the drinks.



On Monday, ITV published a leaked email from Mr Johnson's principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting staff to "socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden" on 20 May 2020 - when lockdown rules in England banned large outdoor gatherings.

The invitation encouraged people to "bring your own booze" and "make the most of the lovely weather".

Mr Johnson has said it is a matter for Sue Gray - the senior civil servant investigating a series of reported parties in Downing Street and in Whitehall in 2020 - to determine what happened.

The PM's official spokesman has also refused to confirm whether Mr Johnson attended the May 2020 Downing Street gathering. He added that the prime minister retained full confidence in Mr Reynolds.

"Boris Johnson must now resign," says Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey


But backbencher Nigel Mills told BBC Newsnight an inquiry was not needed to establish whether the prime minister was there.

"He knows whether he was there or not. Just come out and say what happened," he said.

Mr Mills said it would be "utterly untenable" for any senior figure who attended the gathering to be responsible for setting Covid-19 policy.

"If the prime minister knowingly attended a party, I can't see how he can survive," he said.



Conservative MP Huw Merriman insisted "more clarity" was needed from the prime minister on what took place and whether he attended, adding that people were "in the dark" about what went on.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he didn't believe Mr Johnson should resign, adding that people should be judged on the positives and negatives, citing government achievements including the successful vaccination rollout and the prime minister "holding his nerve" on refusing to introduce further Covid rules in England.

On Tuesday, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said Mr Johnson must quit if he was found to have broken Covid rules.

Tory MP Charles Walker said the week's events have been damaging, adding: "The prime minister and the No 10 team will know that there were significant errors of judgment made back in May 2020."

But he added: "Not in mitigation but it was a fact they were all working extremely hard as many people were - they were working extremely hard in a sort of bunker environment - and I just think there was some poor decision making - I don't think it was malicious in intent."

Another Conservative, Christian Wakeford, tweeted: "How do you defend the indefensible? You can't! It's embarrassing and what's worse is it further erodes trust in politics when it's already low."

Questions are being raised about the role of the civil service too, with former senior civil servant Sir David Normington telling Radio 4's Today programme calling a party in the middle of lockdown was "inexplicable".

"It's a terrible misjudgement, brings disrepute on the civil service. This isn't just about the responsibilities of PMs and politicians, it's also about the behaviour and responsibilities of senior civil servants. That's a very serious matter."

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner told BBC Breakfast if Mr Johnson had broken Covid rules and lied to the public and parliament, then his position as prime minister was now "untenable".

"The prime minister cannot break the law, lie to the British public and not be held to account for that," she added.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told BBC Breakfast if the prime minister had a "shred of decency left", he should resign today.

He added Mr Johnson was "incapable of leading our country through this public health crisis", accusing him of being a "threat to the health of the nation" as the public would not listen to anything he had to say.

If the prime minister won't resign, it was the duty of Conservative MPs to "do the right thing" and ensure he does "in the interests of the country", Sir Ed argued.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will return to Prime Minister's Questions later, having missed last week's session after contracting Covid.

The BBC has been told that Mr Johnson will not make a separate statement on parties in the House of Commons but a senior government source didn't rule out him making some remarks at the start of Prime Minister's Questions.


Analysis by Laura Kuenssberg, Political Editor

The goodwill-to-all-men moment the Christmas holidays promised is very much over.


The subject of conversation among Tories on Tuesday was not the government's planned menu of policy fare for the week, but whether or not the moment had arrived when Boris Johnson, election-winner, had become Boris Johnson, discredited liability.

Whether or not, in the words of that senior MP, the party should "get rid of him".

The party has not reached that conclusion. The government has an enormous majority. Administrations go through rocky times.

But the latest, and continuing, stream of revelations, has made the question of the prime minister's survival the central one again.


On Tuesday, Mr Johnson sent Paymaster General Michael Ellis to respond on his behalf to an emergency Commons question on the issue tabled by Labour.

The Conservative benches were sparsely populated, while no senior ministers appeared publicly to defend Mr Johnson.

During the session, DUP MP Jim Shannon was brought to tears when speaking of the death of his mother-in-law during the pandemic.

In December, the prime minister asked for an independent inquiry to investigate a series of allegations about events taking place in government buildings in 2020 despite coronavirus restrictions being in force.

Ms Gray's probe is investigating specific events including a leaving drinks for a No 10 aide on 27 November, a Department of Education gathering on 10 December and a Christmas quiz for No 10 staff on 15 December.

It is also examining the Downing Street Christmas party on 18 December, and on Tuesday, Mr Ellis said drinks events held in the Downing Street garden on 20 and 15 May 2020 would also be added to the inquiry.




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Old 14-01-22, 07:47   #7
 
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What Will Sue Gray's Inquiry Mean for UK PM Boris Johnson? -

BBC News 14 JAN 2022.







Senior civil servant Sue Gray is carrying out an Investigation into alleged Covid rule breaking in Downing Street and government departments.



The purpose of the investigation is to establish "a general understanding of the nature" of gatherings that took place and whether any "individual disciplinary action" should be taken, the inquiry's terms of reference said.

Her report is likely to be a largely factual account of any gatherings, and she cannot rule on whether lockdown laws were broken.

The findings will be made public, but not necessarily the full report.




Parties Held at Number 10 as Her Majesty Mourned

BBC 14 JAN 2022.

Downing Street is embroiled in a fresh party controversy. The Telegraph can reveal that staff drank alcohol into the early hours at two leaving events the night before Prince Philip's socially-distanced funeral. Some attendees played music in the basement and danced as a senior No 10 adviser acted as DJ, a witness said. It is also alleged that one person present went to a nearby Co-op with a suitcase to collect bottles of wine.

The next day, the Queen sat alone at the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral in St George's Chapel because of Covid-19 restrictions. Political Correspondent Tony Diver has the full revelations. Speaking to today's Chopper's Politics podcast, Andrew Bridgen becomes the fifth Tory MP to call for Mr Johnson to resign
, confirming he has submitted a letter of no confidence to the 1922 Committee. And Sir Keir Starmer was branded an "absolute hypocrite" for drinking beer with staff in lockdown.

Meanwhile, the co-founder of Downing Street's "Nudge Unit" has suggested scare tactics were misused during the pandemic to get the public to follow lockdown. Simon Ruda, a behavioural scientist, said he feared the "most egregious and far-reaching mistake" made during the Covid crisis was the "level of fear willingly conveyed on the public". While defending behavioural science for driving improvements in policy, he warned the trend could have unintended consequences.




Boris Johnson: Senior Tories urge PM to quit after party apology....


BBC 14 JAN 2022.

Boris Johnson is facing calls from senior Tories to resign after he admitted attending a drinks party during lockdown.

The prime minister apologised for the way he handled the event in the Downing Street garden in May 2020 and said he understood the public's "rage" over it.

Cabinet members including deputy PM Dominic Raab rallied round Mr Johnson.

But Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross and MPs William Wragg, Caroline Nokes and Roger urged him to go.

Mr Ross, an MP and a Member of the Scottish Parliament, said he had had a "difficult conversation" with Mr Johnson after he apologised on Wednesday in the House of Commons.

He said he would write to the 1922 Committee, which organises Conservative leadership contests, to register his lack of confidence in the prime minister.

"He is the prime minister. It is his government that put these rules in place, and he has to be held to account for his actions," Mr Ross said.

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said those calling for Mr Johnson were "people who are always unhappy" and dismissed Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross as "quite a lightweight figure".
Conservative MP Andrew Percy criticised Mr Rees-Mogg, saying: "As someone who apparently loves the Union, his personal attack on Douglas... is a gift to the petty nationalists in the SNP who want to break this country up."


A minimum of 54 Conservative MPs must send letters to the committee in order to trigger a leadership challenge.

The drinks gathering, held on 20 May 2020 and described in the invitation as "socially distanced", was attended by around 30 people, who were invited to bring their own alcohol. Food, including sausage rolls and crisps, was reportedly laid out on trestle tables,

Mr Johnson admitted at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday that he had joined colleagues at the event for around 25 minutes to "thank groups of staff" for their hard work during the pandemic, but had "believed implicitly that this was a work event".

He added: "With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them, and I should have recognised that - even if it could have been said technically to fall within the guidance - there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way."




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Old 14-01-22, 21:56   #8
 
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EXCLUSIVE: Boris Johnson's 'Wine Time Fridays' - No10 Staff Held Drinks EVERY Week During Pandemic

Staff invested in drinks fridge to keep their bottles cool


Daily Mirror 14 JAN 2022







Downing Street held yet MORE parties throughout the Cvid pandemic with events taking place every Friday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson encouraged staff to "let off steam" even though indoor socialising was strictly banned.

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Old 15-01-22, 08:24   #9
 
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How to Replace a Tory Prime Minister

15 Jan 2022 Sky News


With Boris Johnson facing his most perilous moment as prime minister, will there be a leadership challenge and if so, how does it work?


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Old 19-01-22, 07:28   #10
 
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MPs Plot to OUST Boris Johnson - BBC Newsnight

Could the PM face a confidence vote in the coming days?

BBC News 19 Jan 2022






Boris Johnson has "categorically" denied he was warned a drinks party in the No 10 garden risked breaking lockdown rules....



"Nobody warned me that it was against the rules," the prime minister said.....


Former aide Dominic Cummings says he warned the PM at the time, and has accused him of misleading MPs about it.



Pressure is now mounting on the prime minister and there are reports the target of 54 letters to trigger a vote of confidence will be met in the coming days.

Newsnight’s political editor Nick Watt reports. Kirsty Wark is joined by Conservative peer Lord Marland, Delyth Miles from Grassroots Conservatives and former Conservative cabinet minister David Gauke.






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Old 19-01-22, 19:01   #11
 
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In the name of God -GO David Davis Calls on Boris Johnson to Quit During Lively PMQs

19 Jan 2022 The Telegraph


The former Brexit minister has demanded Boris Johnson's resignation during Prime Minister's Questions, as he told the PM: "In the name of God, go!"

David Davis said he spent "weeks and months defending the Prime Minister" and reminded constituents of his success in delivering Brexit and the vaccine rollout.

"But I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take," he told MPs. "Yesterday, he did the opposite of that.

"So I'll remind him of a quotation altogether too familiar to him - of Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain -

'You have sat there too long, for all you have done. In the name of God, go!'"




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Old 20-01-22, 18:47   #12
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze-50 Lies Gaffes & Scandals-MP Meets POLICE Re Blackmail Threats

No 10 Accused of Blackmailing and Intimidating Rebel MPs

Boris Johnson Branded Mafia Boss After Tory Says Police Should Probe Blackmail of MPs


Conservative William Wragg said rebel MPs had faced intimidation over opposition to Boris Johnson and urged them to report it to the police

20 Jan 2022 Sky News






A Conservative MP has said Tories who have expressed a lack of confidence in Boris Johnson have faced intimidation from the party and should contact the police if they have been blackmailed.




William Wragg, chair of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee, said a "number of MPs have faced intimidation" after declaring, or assumed to have declared, their desire for a vote of confidence in the PM.

He said it is "not the function" of the government whips office to breach the ministerial code by "threatening to withdraw investments in constituencies funded by the public purse".


But Tory MP Michael Fabricant corroborated Mr Wragg’s bombshell claims - in the same sentence as trying to dismiss them.

He tweeted: “If I reported every time I had been threatened by a Whip or if a Whip reported every time I had threatened them, the police wouldn’t have any time to conduct any other police work! What nonsense from WW.”

Asked if Boris Johnson was behaving like a mafia boss, his spokesman said: “Well, er, obviously we’ve been clear again that there is no evidence to support the claims put forward.


"This is a matter for the whips’ office and not one for me to comment on.”

The PM’s spokesman added: “We’d expect everyone to act within any requisite rules and guidance.”

Asked if the PM condemned all forms of bullying and harassment the spokesman replied: “Yes.”

But asked if there would be an inquiry he replied: “Certainly not that I’m aware of.”

Asked “how does the Prime Minister sleep at night?”, his spokesman replied: “It’s not a question I’ve asked him”.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said it would be a "contempt" to obstruct MPs from doing their jobs by trying to "intimidate" them.

He expressed concern at the "serious allegations" made by Mr Wragg.

Sir Lindsay told MPs: "Those who work for them are not above the criminal law. The investigation of allegedly criminal conduct is a matter for the police and decisions about prosecution are for the CPS. It will be wrong of me to interfere with such matters.

"While the whipping system is long-established, it is of course a contempt to obstruct members in the discharge of their duty or to attempt to intimidate a member in their parliamentary conduct by threats."

It comes as Labour was working to win more Tory defectors in the aftermath of Christian Wakeford’s bombshell decision to join Keir Starmer's party.

A source told the Mirror the "door is always open", but added: “I’m not expecting an imminent second one - but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one.

“We’ll have to see what happens over the next few weeks.”

Four out of 10 grassroots Tories want 'utterly deceitful liability' Boris Johnson to quit
Nothing surprises me anymore with Johnsons Government, for the sake of the Country get rid of the lot of them now.

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Old 22-01-22, 13:51   #13
 
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Police to Meet MP Over Blackmail Claims

S
enior Tory to meet police over 'blackmail' claims against Boris Johnson's whips

William Wragg accuses Downing Street of blackmailing MPs


22 Jan 2022 Sky News






William Wragg (r) campaigning with Boris Johnson in 2015


Police will meet with a senior Conservative MP after he accused the government of "blackmail" amid calls for the Prime Minister to resign

William Wragg, who chairs the who chairs the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said he will be meeting a Scotland Yard detective in the House of Commons early next week.

A Senior Tory who accused Downing Street of trying to blackmail MPs who want to remove Boris Johnson is set to meet police over the claims.

It could lead to the police opening an investigation into whips' behaviour.


The disclosure came after Downing Street said it would not be mounting its own inquiry into the claims, despite calls to do so by both Conservative and opposition MPs.

A No 10 spokesman said it would only open an inquiry if it was presented with evidence to back up Mr Wragg's assertions.

However the MP said he believed an investigation should be for the "experts" in the police.



He told The Daily Telegraph that he would outline "several" examples of bullying and intimidation, in some cases involving public money.
"I stand by what I have said. No amount of gas-lighting will change that," he told the newspaper.

"The offer of Number 10 to investigate is kind but I shall leave it to the experts. I am meeting the police early next week."


Former Tory MP Jerry Hayes threw his support behind Mr Wragg and said the claims should be investigated.

Mr Hayes told the BBC : "We've got William Wragg, who is actually a serious figure, he's not a snowflake, he's not someone who can easily be bullied.

"Something has happened and he's gone all the way to the Metropolitan Police. I just hope that we have an investigation. If he's gone to the Metropolitan Police there must be something there, otherwise his career falls apart, doesn't it?"

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "As with any such allegations, should a criminal offence be reported to the Met, it would be considered."






Boris Johnson warned alleged threats to withhold constituency cash from MPs may be unlawful


Mr Wragg's latest intervention comes as No 10 is braced for the expected delivery next week of the report of Sue Gray, the senior civil servant investigating lockdown parties in Downing St elsewhere in Whitehall.

It is likely to lead to renewed calls from opposition parties for a police investigation if there is any evidence Covid rules were broken - including at a drinks do in May 2020 attended by Mr Johnson.

Mr Wragg, one of seven Tory MPs to have called publicly for the Prime Minister to resign, stunned Westminster with his allegations this week of a campaign of intimidation by No 10 amounting to criminal conduct.


He said Conservative MPs trying to trigger a no confidence vote in Mr Johnson had been told public funding for projects in their constituencies would be cut off and threatened with stories in the press to embarrass them.

Christian Wakeford, the Bury South MP who defected to Labour, later described how the Tory whips had warned him over funding for a new school in his constituency if he rebelled in a vote over free school meals.

Ministers have sought to dismiss the allegations, insisting the whips had no role in the allocation of public funding.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng however acknowledged on Friday that Mr Wakeford's allegation was "very serious" and he was "sure" that it would be investigated.

But a spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "We're not aware of any evidence to support what are clearly serious allegations.

"If there was any evidence to support it, it would of course be looked at."





Boris Johnson's spokesman said he was not aware of any evidence





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Oh Crap! re: BORIS Sleeze-50 Lies Gaffes & Scandals-MP Meets POLICE Re Blackmail Threats

Boris Johnson’s 50 Lies, Gaffes and Scandals as PM's Future Hangs in The Balance....

The Prime Minister is facing calls to quit from mutinous Tories as he awaits the results of Sue Gray's inquiry into lockdown-breaking parties - which could determine his future....

Daily Mirror 22 JAN 2022





Boris Johnson's is battling for his political life as he awaits the findings of Sue Gray's inquiry into lockdown-busting parties which could determine the fate of his premiership.






The Prime Minister will spend the weekend at his Chequers retreat while he desperately tries to woo mutinous Tories who have been openly plotting his downfall.

Top civil servant Sue Gray is expected to deliver her report next week after gathering evidence on a string of potentially rule-breaking gatherings.

The PM has begged MPs to wait for the results of her probe as he tried to wriggle out of censure - despite admitting to the Commons that he briefly attended a "BYOB" drinks party in the Downing Street garden in May 2020.

His former aide Dominic Cummings has openly accused him of lying to MPs over his claim he was not warned about the event.

Boris Johnson is facing pressure from all sides



Tory anger boiled over when it emerged that two leaving drinks had been held in No 10 on the eve of Prince Phillip's funeral in April 2021, which the PM did not attend.

Speculation has mounted over a potential leadership contest, with feverish chatter about how many letters of no confidence have been submitted to the Tory 1922 Committee.

As MPs return to their constituencies this weekend to plot their next moves, we have compiled a list of his gaffes, lies and scandals in case they need help making their minds up.

Some are harmless, or even funny. Others have raised questions about his integrity and his fitness to govern.


1. When he was sacked for making up a quote


The Times sacked Boris Johnson in 1988 for making up a quote in a front-page story.

The then-journalist, aged 23, fabricated a claim by his godfather, academic Colin Lucas, that Edward II and his lover Piers Gaveston would have cavorted in a newly-discovered Rose Palace.

In what he later called “my biggest ****-up”, it emerged the Palace was only built long after Gaveston was murdered.

Rather than admit his lie Mr Johnson wrote a further story saying “the mystery had deepened”. He then admitted in 2013: “I mildly sandpapered something somebody said, and yes it’s very embarrassing and I’m very sorry about it.”



Viscount Althorp's 21st Birthday Party. Boris Johnson (2nd Right) Arrives With Sister Rachel (right).



2. When he was sacked for lying about an affair

In 2004 he was sacked as Shadow Arts Minister after aides to leader Michael Howard decided he had lied about an affair.

Mr Johnson denied reports of a four-year fling with journalist Petronella Wyatt, saying: “I have not had an affair with Petronella. It is complete balderdash.”

But her mother said the affair did happen - and Petronella had an abortion as a result.

Lady Verushka Wyatt added: “The reason she went out with him was because he said he was going to marry her.” Ms Wyatt admits the pair had a “tendresse”.

Michael Howard added: “My director of communications at the time was convinced Boris had lied to him.”

Three-quarters of Brits believe Boris Johnson is 'dishonest' and 'lacks integrity'





Downing Street party investigator Sue Gray finds e-mail 'warning BYOB bash broke rules'


3. When he discussed having a journalist beaten up


Boris Johnson had a 1990 phone call with former Eton pal Darius Guppy, who was jailed for five years in 1993 for his part in an insurance fraud.

Mr Guppy wanted contact details for News of the World journalist Stuart Collier, who was investigating his affairs.



Darius Guppy pictured in 1993


Asked by Mr Johnson “how badly are you going to hurt this guy”, he replied the journalist “will not be seriously hurt” but “will probably get a couple of black eyes and... a cracked rib.”

Mr Johnson could be heard seeking assurances he would not get in "trouble" before saying: "OK, Darrie, I said I'll do it."

No attack ever took place and Mr Johnson said in 2013 he was just “humouring” his old pal.


4. When he endangered a British mum jailed in Iran


Boris Johnson worsened the plight of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in loose comments he made as Foreign Secretary in 2017.

He wrongly told MPs the British mum, held in Iran on spying charges, was “teaching people journalism”.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Iran in 2016

That undermined her defence that she was on holiday - one backed up by her employers.

Four days after Mr Johnson’s comments she was threatened with five more years’ jail on charges of “propaganda against the regime”.






5. When he called black people 'piccaninnies'




He wrote in the Telegraph in 2002: "It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies."

Speaking of Tony Blair ’s trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, he said: “No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh.

“And the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.”

Mr Johnson later defended his comments, branding them “wholly satirical”.


6. When he mocked Muslim women as 'letterboxes'


In August 2018 he branded Muslim face veils “oppressive”, “weird and bullying” and said it was “absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letterboxes."

Any female student who turned up to school "looking like a bank robber" should be asked to remove their face covering, he added.

He went on to argue against banning the burqa in public, but his snide remarks prompted outrage, including from senior Tories.

He refused to apologise and was cleared of breaching the Conservative Party code of conduct.


7. When he used racist terms to describe Barack Obama

Mr Johnson used a racist description of Barack Obama at the height of the EU referendum in 2016.

He claimed a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office had been removed around the time the US President moved in.

He remarked: “Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President's ancestral dislike of the British Empire, of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender." Those condemning his “nasty” comments included Winston Churchill’s Tory grandson.



Former US President Barack Obama - who was born in the US - revealed he had actually moved the bust to a prime spot outside his private office, saying: "I love Winston Churchill. Love the guy."





8. When he propagated the £350m-a-week Brexit lie

Boris Johnson was a figurehead of the 2016 Vote Leave campaign, fuelling their lie that the UK sent the EU £350million a week.

He rode the infamous battle bus emblazoned with the figure and appeared in front of a banner that said: “Let’s give our NHS the £350million the EU takes every week.”

The UK Statistics Authority said the figure was £285m a week, without factoring EU payments to the UK. With only the most basic EU payments (directly to the UK public sector) factored in, that dropped to £190m.

He carried on using the debunked figure for more than a year and was accused of a “clear misuse of official statistics” by the data watchdog.


9. When he repeatedly ignored conflict-of-interest rules

Boris Johnson broke rules on financial interests three times in less than a year. He breached the Ministerial Code in August 2018 by starting a £275,000-a-year newspaper column just three days after quitting as Foreign Secretary.

In December 2018 he was ordered to apologise for failing to declare £52,723 of income on time.

And in April 2019 he was 11 months late registering his 20% share in a property in Somerset.

Parliament’s Standards Commissioner accused him of a “lack of respect” for the system adding: "I do not accept that this was an inadvertent breach of the rules."


10. When he blew millions on his Garden Bridge ‘vanity project’

As mayor, Boris Johnson backed a failed plan for a “floating paradise” across the River Thames that blew £43million of public money.

The Garden Bridge was beset by controversy from the start until it was finally scrapped by his successor Sadiq Khan in 2017.

Critics blasted the link for being privately run, yet publicly-subsidised, while there was a more pressing need for Thames crossings elsewhere.

Yet Boris Johnson was a doughty defender of the “vanity project” - even making a secretive trip to San Francisco in 2013 in a bid to get Apple to sponsor it.

Boris Johnson's bonkers Northern Ireland bridge cost almost £1m and it wasn't even built

Tory chiefs 'threatened to scrap new school' if MP backed Marcus Rashford campaign


11. When he wasted £300,000 on illegal water cannon

As London mayor he paid £322,000 for three second-hand water cannon devices after the 2014 riots.

The bill included £32,004 for low emission zone compliance, £19,035 for re-painting and almost £1,000 to fit CD players.

But he bought them before they had been licensed for use in Britain.

And they were left to rust in a police firing range after their use was ruled illegal by then-Home Secretary Theresa May .

Finally in 2018 they were sold for scrap - for the princely sum of £11,025.


12. When he had a blazing row with his partner in her flat

Police were called to the flat Boris Johnson, 55, shared with 31-year-old girlfriend Carrie Symonds after a blazing row in June 2019.

Neighbour Tom Penn dialled 999 after he heard "get off me" and "get out of my flat”, and "a loud scream and banging, followed by silence."

He then handed a tape of the incident to the Guardian newspaper - prompting a furious backlash from Boris Johnson supporters.

Boris Johnson refused to comment on the incident, citing his privacy.

But he was accused of hypocrisy when a “staged” loved-up photo of him and Ms Symonds was then leaked to the press.


13. When it took years to confirm how many children he had

Boris Johnson has at least seven children but he has spent years refusing to confirm the exact number.

He split from wife Marina Wheeler. The couple, who married in 1993, had four children - Lara, Milo Arthur, Cassia Peaches, and Theodore Apollo.

But he has had multiple affairs, including the one with Petronella Wyatt (above) which led to a pregnancy that was terminated.

And a 2013 court ruling said the public were entitled to know about claims that one affair - with art consultant Helen Macintyre - resulted in a daughter who was his, Stephanie.

Finally he has had two children, Wilfred and Romy, with wife Carrie. Before Romy’s birth he told a US interviewer he had six kids.


14. When he called gay men 'tank-topped bum boys'


In a 1998 Telegraph column about Peter Mandelson's resignation, Johnson said the announcement would lead to the blubbing of “tank-topped bumboys" in "the Ministry of Sound" nightclub.

Two years later in a Spectator article, he attacked what he called "Labour's appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools, and all the rest of it."

And in a 2002 book he said: “If gay marriage was OK… I saw no reason in principle why a union should not be consecrated between three men, as well as two men, or indeed three men and a dog.”


15. When he made a glib remark about ‘dead bodies' in Libya

The then-Foreign Secretary was slammed in 2017 for saying the Libyan city of Sirte had a bright future - as soon as they "clear the dead bodies away".

The crass gaffe drew gasps at an event during the Conservative Party conference.

"They've got a brilliant vision to turn Sirte, with the help of the municipality of Sirte, to turn it into the next Dubai,” he said.

"The only thing they've got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then we'll be there."

Boris Johnson came under for his comments to a Tory conference event


16. When he recited a colonial-era poem in Myanmar

In an incredible diplomatic gaffe in 2017, he recited the opening verse to Rudyard Kipling's The Road to Mandalay at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar's capital Yangon.

Kipling’s poem captures the nostalgia of a retired serviceman looking back on his colonial service and a Burmese girl he kissed.

The ambassador, Andrew Patrick, said between gritted teeth "probably not a good idea" and added: "Not appropriate".


17. When he boasted about whisky in a Sikh temple


The Foreign Secretary was berated at a Sikh temple for talking about whisky exports to India – despite alcohol being forbidden in the faith.

He said at the Bristol temple in 2017: “Whenever we go to India, to Mumbai or to Delhi, we have to bring ‘clinkie’ in our luggage.

“We have to bring Johnnie Walker, we have to bring whisky because as you may know there is a duty of 150% in India on imports of Scotch whisky so we have to bring it in duty free for our relatives. But imagine what we could do if there was a free trade deal with India – which there will be.”

A woman reportedly told Mr Johnson: "How dare you talk about alcohol in a Sikh temple?"



Boris Johnson made the blunder on a visit to a Sikh temple





18. When he insulted the entire city of Liverpool

Tory leader Michael Howard forced the MP to visit Liverpool to apologise in 2004 after he blamed fans for Hillsborough - and accused citizens of “wallowing in victim status”.

The Spectator - which he was editing at the time - printed an editorial saying the tragedy was “no excuse for Liverpool’s failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday afternoon.”

Smearing Liverpudlians the editorial added: “They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they wallow in it.”

An independent report and the 2016 inquests ruled there was nothing to suggest fans’ behaviour contributed to the disaster.

In 2012 Mr Johnson apologised again, admitting claims about football fans' behaviour were a “lie”.


19. When he insulted the entire country of Papua New Guinea

Boris Johnson apologised to the entire country of Papua New Guinea in 2006 for joking about their "orgies of cannibalism."

The then shadow higher education minister wrote in the Telegraph: "For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing."

But Papua New Guinea's High Commissioner in London, Jean L Kekedo, branded the remarks "an insult" to her nation's "integrity and intelligence".

She added: "I am shocked and appalled by such comments from a seemingly well-educated person."

Mr Johnson later said: "I meant no insult to the people of Papua New Guinea who I'm sure lead lives of blameless bourgeois domesticity in common with the rest of us."


20. When he said Africa needs its old Colonial powers to come back


The former journalist wrote a lengthy Spectator column in 2002 headlined "cancel the guilt trip".

It argued Africa "is a mess" with "too many people dying" but it was unfair to blame the bloody legacy of British colonialism.

He concluded: "The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers, or their citizens, scrambled once again in her direction; on the understanding that this time they will not be asked to feel guilty."

Showing the supposed superiority of those "colonial powers" 14 years later, he memorably called Africa "that country". Africa is a continent of more than 50 countries.



Boris Johnson was editor of The Spectator magazine





21. When he claimed money probing child abuse was 'spaffed up a wall'

In March 2019, Boris Johnson said police spending on child sexual abuse investigations was "spaffed up a wall".

He said: "Keeping numbers high on the streets is certainly important. But it depends where you spend the money and where you deploy the officers.

"And one comment I would make is I think an awful lot of money and an awful lot of police time now goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey.

"You know, £60 million I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse."

The NSPCC said the former Foreign Secretary’s language was “crass.”


22. When he ‘made up’ a story about small Italian penises

As the Daily Telegraph's Brussels correspondent in 1991, he wrote a story claiming EU chiefs had rejected Italian demands for a smaller minimum condom width.

Mr Johnson claimed the decision had left "Italian egos smarting". But aptly-named former top EU chief Willy Hélin told The Guardian the story was a "load of bulls***".

"We had had requests from medical institutions across Europe to check on the safety of condoms," he said. "That has nothing to do with the size of dicks."

While in Brussels Mr Johnson popularised a new style of anti-EU journalism, sowing seeds of resentment that helped cause Brexit 25 years later.

Tory rebels 'consider publishing messages' amid claims of Government 'blackmail'


23. When he enraged Italy with a threat about Prosecco

Boris Johnson angered Italy in 2016 by threatening to stop buying Prosecco in a bad Brexit deal.

"We drink more Italian wine than any other country in Europe - 300m litres of Prosecco every year,” he said. “They are not going to put that at risk.”

But Economy minister Carlo Calenda branded the Foreign Secretary's approach "insulting" and "wishful thinking".

He sad: "I said 'yeah, maybe we're going to lose some Prosecco. You're going to lose some fish and chips exports. The difference is I'm going to lose to one country - you to 27.'"


24. When he called the French ‘turds’ who ‘shafted Britain’

In June 2019 it was claimed Boris Johnson branded the French "turds" who "shafted Britain" over Brexit.

He made the remark, during filming for a BBC documentary, out of frustration over France refusing a better deal.

According to the Daily Mail, the BBC removed the word "turds" from the finished documentary at the request of the Foreign Office.

A leaked Whitehall memo allegedly said the remark becoming public would make Anglo-French relations “awkward.”

He refused to deny making the slur, saying with a grin: “I have no recollection of this comment.”




25. When he compared the EU to Adolf Hitler

During the 2016 EU referendum campaign Boris Johnson compared the EU to Adolf Hitler - saying they both wanted a united Europe.

“Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically,” he wrote. “The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.”

Hilary Benn, who was the shadow foreign secretary, said the comparison was "offensive and desperate".

But Boris Johnson refused to apologise over what he called an “artificial media twit storm”.
26. When he proclaimed ‘f*** business’

Boris Johnson ranted “f*** business” over Brexit at a reception to mark the Queen's birthday.

The Foreign Secretary was said to have uttered the reply in 2018, at an event for EU diplomats, when he was asked about business leaders' fears over leaving the EU.

He and allies repeatedly refused to deny using the phrase.

Instead a source said he was “attacking lobbyists like the EU-funded CBI who are more interested in doing what's right for big multinational corporations."


27. When he allegedly said ‘f*** the families’ of the 7/7 bombings




The number 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square







Another alleged outburst came when he was Mayor of London and being briefed about the cost of inquests into the 2005 London terror attacks, which killed 52.

Brian Coleman, who was chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, claims Boris Johnson erupted in fury and said: “F*** the families! F*** the families!”

A second source told the Sunday Mirror he was certain Boris used the offensive words.

But a third source, at the meeting, disputed Mr Coleman’s account.


28. When he branded Hillary Clinton a ‘sadistic mental health nurse’

Boris Johnson compared Hillary Clinton to a “sadistic” mental health nurse in a 2007 column.

Saying he wanted her to be President, he wrote: “She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”

After becoming Foreign Secretary he was grilled on the comment in his first joint press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

But he said: “It would really take me too long to engage in a full global itinerary of apology.”



Boris Johnson insulted Hillary Clinton in a 2007 column





29. When he refused to back our Ambassador to the US

Boris Johnson faced a storm in July 2019 for refusing to stand up for Britain's Ambassador to the US.

Sir Kim Darroch quit after Mr Johnson failed to promise he could keep his job over leaked memos about the "inept" White House.

Mr Johnson - who stands to gain by installing a more pro-Brexit envoy - was accused by a serving Foreign Office minister of throwing the diplomat “under the bus”.

He later confessed he was a "factor" in the diplomat's resignation, adding: "I probably should have been more emphatic that Kim personally had my full support."


30. When he took a £20,000 flight to avoid scrutiny on Heathrow Airport

As Foreign Secretary he blew more than £20,000 of taxpayers’ cash on a visit to Kabul - conveniently timed to miss a Commons vote on expanding Heathrow Airport.

In 2015 Boris Johnson - whose constituency is near the hub - promised to lay down before the bulldozers to stop a third runway.

But his trip to Afghanistan meant he didn’t have to vote one way or the other - a decision which could have prompted either constituents’ fury or a sacking from the Cabinet.

Mr Johnson has since weakened his opposition to Heathrow. In June 2019 he only said he had “grave reservations” rather than vowing to block it.


31. When be branded his £250k-a-year pocket money ‘chicken feed’


He made more than £700,000 in earnings alongside his job as an MP through the year after he quit as Foreign Secretary.

They included a £275,000-a-year column in the Daily Telegraph and more than £400,000 for speeches, including £42,580 for a single speech promoting a No Deal Brexit .

In 2009 he described his column, which at the time paid £250,000, as “chicken feed”
.

And in July 2019 he claimed he’d set aside “self-interest” by giving up these outside earnings when he becomes Prime Minister.

He said: “It is obviously possible to make more money by not being a full time politician.”


32. When he was accused of a major conflict of interest

A string of ethics probes were launched into Boris Johnson in September 2019 after the Sunday Times revealed his friendship with the model-turned-tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri.

The London Assembly - whose rules forbid favourable treatment to friends - launched an investigation after the relatively novice American went on three trade missions Mr Johnson led as mayor in 2014 and 2015.

Ms Arcuri - who later said they had an affair - admitted Mr Johnson visited her combined flat and office in Shoreditch a "handful" of times.

The PM was branded “unfit for office” after insisting there was “no interest to declare”.


33. When he purged Churchill’s grandson from the Tories to shore up his base


The Prime Minister faced outrage in September 2019 when he brutally purged some of the longest-serving Tories from the party.

Winston Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames and longest-serving MP Ken Clarke were among 21 who lost the whip - followed later by a 22nd, Amber Rudd.

Their crime? Backing a bid to delay Brexit beyond October 31 to prevent no-deal.

Just months earlier, the Conservative Party had been tolerant of these moderates who wanted to stop a disastrous crash-out from the EU.

But Boris Johnson opted for the hardline approach to shore up the Brexit vote, despite his long history as a fairly liberal One Nation Tory.

Ten of the 21 were later let back in but Clarke and Soames quit before the election.


34. When he kept trying to use public money to attack Labour in the election

As the general election got under way in October 2019, he made political comments standing in front of police cadets (one of whom fainted).

He also spent a day after an election was confirmed touring hospitals and police - paid for by public funds.

He was accused of misusing taxpayer cash too when he put out a string of Facebook adverts - later banned - which promoted left-behind towns.

And his bid to use Treasury civil servants to cost Labour ’s policies was blocked at the last moment by the Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill.


35. When he unlawfully shut down Parliament


In September 2019, the Supreme Court ruled he acted unlawfully by shutting down Parliament over Brexit.

The PM faced demands to resign after the UK's highest court ruled unanimously that he acted unlawfully.

11 justices said shutting down the Commons for five weeks before the Brexit deadline - which he claimed was a bog standard prorogation - had an "extreme" effect on democracy.

Declaring the prorogation of Parliament "unlawful, void and of no effect", Supreme Court President Lady Hale declared: "Parliament has not been prorogued."



Baroness Hale


36. When his ‘clear plan’ for social care did not appear

Boris Johnson promised he had a plan for social care in a speech on the steps of Downing Street in July 2019.

But more than two years on, this clear plan has not materialised.

Last September he announced a hike to National Insurance from April 2022 to fund social care and slash the NHS backlog caused by the pandemic.

The majority of the £36bn will go to the NHS in England, with only £5.4bn over the three years earmarked for social care.

When a plan was finally published in December, the 10-year vision was branded "incredibly thin" on detail.


37. When tens of thousands of people died ‘who didn’t need to’


“Tens of thousands of people died, who didn't need to die".

That was the explosive claim from the PM's former aide Dominic Cummings.

Mr Cummings told MPs that the PM was consistently anti-lockdown, ignored scientific advice and failed to take Covid seriously.

He also claimed the PM ranted “we should never have done lockdown 1” and any border control would ruin the travel industry.




Dominic Cummings has become a ferocious critic of his former boss Boris Johnson since leaving No 10




Mr Cummings said: "It’s completely crackers that someone like me should have been in there, just as it’s crackers that Boris was in there and the choice at the last election was Jeremy Corbyn.

“The problem in this crisis was very much lions led by donkeys over and over again.”


38. When he claimed to have ‘got Brexit done’

Mr Johnson won the 2019 election on a manifesto promising to "get Brexit done" - which he duly claimed to have achieved on entering office.

The Brexit deal passed in the Commons in December 2019 and the UK severed its ties with Brussels in January 2020.

The PM then claimed he had "got Brexit done", despite lengthy trade negotiations continuing until a deal was agreed before Christmas 2020.

But the UK then spent most of 2021 trying to unpick parts of the deal and threatening the EU that it would unilaterally tear up a key party relating to Northern Ireland.

Talks are ongoing and Brexit is not exactly done.


39. When he boasted about shaking hands despite Covid threat

Back in March 2020, the PM insisted the Covid threat would not stop him sharing a handshake with people.

Mr Johnson bragged that he had shaken the hands of everyone at a hospital where Covid patients were being treated.

No10 officials stressed at the time that he had not shaken hands with any patients.


40. When he ranted about ‘bodies piling high’ and 80-year-olds getting Covid


The PM reportedly declared he would rather "let the bodies pile high in their thousands" than call another lockdown in the autumn of 2020.

The alleged remarks, which emerged first in the Daily Mail, were dismissed by Downing Street.

But Dominic Cummings told MPs that he heard the PM make the comment after his decision to implement a second lockdown on 31 October 2020.

Boris Johnson also allegedly claimed coronavirus patients “live longer”, according to bombshell text messages shown by the BBC.

In texts to aides, Mr Johnson said: “I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on Covid fatalities.

“The median age is 82 – 81 for men 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get COVID and live longer.”


41. When lucrative Covid contracts went to Tory allies

The Government awarded thousands of contracts to private companies as they battled to get vital equipment such as PPE and tests at the start of the pandemic.

Billions of pounds worth of deals were handed to associates of ministers and officials during the early months of the pandemic.

The High Court ruled earlier this month that a so-called VIP lane to hand out PPE contracts to two firms was unlawful.

In a challenge brought by the Good Law Project and campaign group EveryDoctor, a judge ruled the operation of the "high priority lane" was "was in breach of the obligation of equal treatment… the illegality is marked by this judgment."

But Mrs Justice O'Farrell found both of the companies' offers "justified priority treatment on its merits" and were "very likely" to have been awarded contracts even without the VIP lane.


42. When he refused to sack Dominic Cummings

The controversial former aide became a household name when the Mirror revealed he had travelled to Durham during the first lockdown, including the famous trip to Barnard Castle.

Mr Cummings refused to resign despite widespread public anger - and Boris Johnson stood by him.

The PM's failure to sack Mr Cummings at the time cost him a significant amount of political capital.

Dominic Cummings gave a press conference after news of his lockdown trip to Durham


43. When he cut help to the world’s poorest


Another U-turn on the Tories’ 2019 manifesto was the decision to slash billions in aid cash.

Rishi Sunak cut foreign aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income, prompting fury including from many Tories.

The Chancellor later extended the cut, saying aid spending will only return to normal by 2024/25.


44. When he broke his manifesto promise over National Insurance and pensions

Boris Johnson U-turned on his central manifesto vow not to increase taxes in September by hiking National Insurance to fix health and social care.

The tax will rise from 12% to 13.25% from April 2022 to raise £12bn a year. Mr Johnson claimed the rise was unavoidable after Covid and will fix the care crisis.

But only £5.4bn of the £36bn raised in the first three years will go to social care.

He also scrapped the pensions triple lock for a year from April 2022 in another manifesto breach.


45. When he repeatedly battled Marcus Rashford over free school meals


The PM was forced into two U-turns by footballer Marcus Rashford over feeding hungry children during the holidays.

The Tories went to war with the Manchester United forward - and lost - in a damaging battle over free school meals.

In June 2020 the PM caved to Rashford’s demand to give more than a million kids supermarket vouchers over the summer break.



Footballer Marcus Rashford took on the Government over free school meals

The government had refused to issue £15-a-week vouchers, instead pledging a £63m pot for the worst-hit.

But hours after forcing ministers to defend the position, Boris Johnson changed his mind in a Cabinet meeting.

In November, the PM made another U-turn on kids’ food over half term.

Tory MPs had refused to extend the £15 vouchers over the October half term - prompting fury, and businesses and charities to step in.

But the PM then announced a £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme for Christmas. It provided extra help - though it no longer gave £15 vouchers to every eligible family, and went further than just paying for food.


46. When he spent taxpayer cash on THREE vanity photographers


Mr Johnson was accused of splurging public cash on "vanity" snappers when it emerged had had three photographers working in Downing Street.

Press photographers cover the PM's activities for newspapers but the PM hired a new promotional photographer last February on a salary of up to £60,635 a year.

He already had photographer Andrew Parsons working part-time as a special adviser and another civil service photographer is thought to have been on secondment to No10 from the Ministry of Defence since early 2020.


47. When he blew £1m on a non-existent bridge to Northern Ireland


Boris Johnson's madcap plan for a bridge to Northern Ireland cost the taxpayer almost a million pounds - although it was never built.

A study commissioned by the Prime Minister found a fixed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland would be too expensive.

The study alone cost almost £900,000.


48. When he tried to tear up ethics rules to save a mate

Owen Paterson resigned as MP for North Shropshire

The PM ordered Tory MPs to rip up ethics rules and block a 30-day suspension of Conservative Owen Paterson for lobbying breaches.

The vote passed, but more than 100 Conservatives refused to back the plans and Keir Starmer accused the government of corruption.

Mr Johnson U-turned less than 24 hours later, as Labour boycotted the body which would have drawn up new standards.

Mr Paterson later resigned as a Tory MP.

The Liberal Democrats pulled off a sensational upset in the by-election in his North Shropshire seat the following month.


49. When he tried to get others to pay for a lavish revamp of his flat

Boris Johnson has been dogged by questions over the funding of the luxury makeover of his No 11 flat.

The PM originally assumed a charitable trust, led by Tory donor Lord Brownlow, would fund the work.

But the idea fell apart and he had to settle the bill himself after a media storm.

Lord Geidt conducted a probe into the funding of the Downing Street flat

The Conservative Party was fined £17,800 by the Electoral Commission in December for breaching electoral law over the way the money was recorded.

The watchdog also uncovered texts from Mr Johnson to Lord Brownlow about the project, which had not been given to the PM's ethics adviser Lord Geidt when he investigated.

Mr Johnson apologised to Lord Geidt, who issued a furious rebuke to the PM but decided he had not broken the ministerial code.


50. And finally… When he ‘lied to Parliament’ over Downing Street parties








In what could be the final straw for Tory MPs and the public, Mr Johnson has been accused of misleading Parliament over a BYOB bash in the No10 garden in May 2020.




He admitted to going into the garden for 25 minutes but claimed he thought it was a work event.

Dominic Cummings said Mr Johnson's principle private secretary (PPS) Martin Reynolds agreed to speak to the PM ahead of the event when another official sent an email saying that it broke the rules.

Mr Cummings also said he personally raised the “drinks party” but the Prime Minister "waved it aside".

If true, this means the PM lied to the house in his apology last week. Ministers are normally expected to resign for misleading Parliament.

Tory rebels 'consider publishing messages' amid claims of Government 'blackmail'


Three-quarters of Brits believe Boris Johnson is 'dishonest' and 'lacks integrity'





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Old 24-01-22, 03:02   #15
 
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Update re: BORIS Sleeze: Champagne Party Night Before Brits Hit by Tax & Bills Bombshell

No 10 Staff Have Swipe Card Data Logged in Probe of Partygate

Security logs crucial to future of key staff as Sue Gray also ‘has details of new social event’

The Guardian UK 24 JAN 2022.


The senior civil servant investigating allegations of at least nine lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street has been given access to a detailed log of staff movements in and out of the building from security data including swipecards.

Whitehall figures say the inquiry by Sue Gray – who is expected to publish a report of about 25 pages this week – has been “forensic”, looking in “granular detail” at who was in the building for social gatherings, some of which went on into the early hours, and the precise timings of their arrivals and departures.

Johnson and his staff, as well as civil servants and others who attended the events under investigation, are anxiously awaiting Gray’s conclusions this weekend. She has been assisted by six civil servants with HR experience.

Many Tory MPs say they are holding off from deciding whether to call for the prime minister to resign until they see its conclusions, and hear the reactions of their constituents.

Rumours have also been circulating in government in recent days that Gray may have details of yet another gathering in Downing Street, possibly in the PM’s flat and involving close friends of his wife, that has not yet come to light. Discovery of a 10th get-together when Covid restrictions were in place would seriously undermine Johnson’s attempts to survive the crisis.

Sue Gray may have found details of another gathering, possibly in Boris Johnson’s flat.


But senior Whitehall sources also say the information from data logs that record movements for security reasons could be decisive, as they will have given Gray conclusive proof of who was where and when, and how many people remained after normal working hours – details that she would otherwise have lacked.

“This information is conclusive,” said a source who knows Gray. “This is not someone saying ‘I saw him or her at a party’. This is the proof of who was where, how many people were inside the building at any one time.

“She will have been looking at all that information, which is far more valuable than people’s say so. It is the evidence.”

The source added that the security logs would also have allowed Gray to draw conclusions about the culture at No 10, which appears to have allowed parties to have become regular events. “If you get the data and you find a large group all swiped out at 1am in the morning, then it looks very much like it was a party and if that was going on regularly you can judge from that.”

Friends of Gray who have worked with her say she will be scrupulously fair but also “ruthless” in pursuit of the truth. One former colleague and friend said she was in no mood to allow civil servants alone to take the flak. “She has shown before in previous inquiries that she will hold civil servants to account because she is very strong on civil service behaviour, but if she thinks politicians or others should take responsibility she will make that very clear,” the source said.

While it is possible that Gray will name some very senior civil servants and high-up figures in government in her main 25-page report, she is expected to follow precedent and not make public the identities of junior civil servants or special advisers.

Their names are expected to be listed in another document that will remain confidential and be sent to human resources teams in their respective departments, who would then be responsible for determining what sanctions, if any, should be imposed.

After another torrid week for Johnson, which saw the defection of the Tory MP Christian Wakeford to Labour, the prime minister has been spending the weekend calling backbenchers to try to shore up his position.

Fewer than a dozen Tory MPs are believed to have written to the chair of the 1922 Committee to demand a vote of confidence, but many more say they will do so if the Gray report concludes that the PM broke lockdown rules, and more incriminating information emerges. If 54 or more write in, a vote of confidence must be held. If Johnson loses that, he has to resign. A meeting of the 1922 Committee on Wednesday will be a key judge of the Tory mood.

Wakeford told the Observer that Johnson was doomed. “If Boris Johnson is hoping Sue Gray’s report will save his skin then he’s in for a shock. The rot has already set in and many of my former colleagues have already reached the conclusion that he’s unfit to lead the Conservative party. Not just because he’s an electoral liability but because he’s actually unfit to run the country.

“Are there enough of them to trigger a leadership election? I’m sure there are. Will they go through with it? That’s a matter for them. What I do know is that in seats like Bury South the voters have made up their minds about him. So it’s just a question of whether MPs choose to listen to their constituents or the party whips.”

Ruth Davidson, the former Scottish Tory leader, said the PM was not fit for office. “I think one of the reasons he is in such a perilous situation is not just because of the apparent rule-breaking, although that is a big part of it, but because there is a fatigue even within the party and certainly by my MP colleagues for the drama that has been emanating from No 10,” she said.
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Old 24-01-22, 10:11   #16
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze: Champagne Party Night Before Brits Hit by Tax & Bills Bombshell

Downing Street Police Give Sue Gray Extremely Damning Partygate Statements

Members of the Metropolitan Police’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command are said to have been interviewed as part of the investigation into Boris Johnson and Downing Street's 'partygate'

Officers were said to have been 'only too willing' to co-operate

Downing Street police officers have reportedly been quizzed by Sue Gray as part of her 'partygate' probe.

Daily Mirror 24 JAN 2022








Sue Gray is expected to release her report soon


Members of the Metropolitan Police's Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command are said to have been interviewed as part of the investigation.


The unit would have been on duty when a series of gatherings are alleged to have taken place, potentially breaching lockdown rules.

According to reports, their statements have been described as 'extremely damning' and could form a key part of the probe.

Top civil servant Sue Gray is expected to deliver her report next week after gathering evidence on a string of potentially rule-breaking gatherings.


The Daily Telegraph reports that the senior official has also spoken to Boris Johnson, civil servants and political advisers, as well as accessed security pass logs and the Prime Minister’s official diary.

While police officers cannot be compelled to speak to investigators, unlike Downing Street staff, the outlet claims they were “only too willing” to co-operate.

A source said: “Met officers have spoken to Sue Gray now, as you would expect, and have been able to provide a lot of information.”






Boris Johnson has faced calls to quit


Get all the latest politics news sent to your inbox. Sign up for the free Mirror newsletter

Asked how significant the material they had disclosed was, they added: “Put it this way, if Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister by the end of the week, I’d be very surprised.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman added: “The Met has ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office in relation to this inquiry.”

It was also claimed that Ms Gray as part of her investigation has had access to the system that records when staff use their swipe cards to enter and exit Downing Street.

'Liar Boris Johnson's rancid regime is now rapidly collapsing around him'


A log of all visitors and the names of those who sponsor their visit are also kept on the same system.

The inquiry comes after explosive claims emerged that Mr Johnson attended a leaving do before Christmas 2020 during which he gave a speech to mark the departure of his defence adviser Captain Steve Higham.

That claim, revealed by the Mirror, is the latest in a long line of allegations about rule breaking in Downing Street, with Ms Gray looking into a litany of possible events.

These include a "bring your own booze" garden party during the first coronavirus lockdown that Mr Johnson has admitted he attended - although he insists he understood it to be a "work event".

Previously, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi insisted Mr Johnson was safe in his job after being repeatedly asked about his future.

Mr Zahawi said the Prime Minister had done the right thing by apologising - and added: "He's human and we make mistakes".

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to face questions on Downing Street parties





MORE

PM Asks Cabinet Office to Investigate Allegations of Islamophobia

24 Jan 2022 Sky News


- Boris Johnson faces crunch week as he awaits report into lockdown Downing Street parties


- Investigation launched into MP's claim she was sacked as a minister due to her Muslim faith - we speak to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi




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Old 26-01-22, 01:59   #17
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze: Champagne Party Night Before Brits Hit by Tax & Bills Bombshell

Full Sue Gray Report Could be Published TODAY Despite Police Probe in Chaotic U-turn

PM to be Questioned by Police as Investigation Starts

Boris Johnson has 'no escape from partygate' as police probe casts cloud over No10


A day of chaos erupted after the Met Police announced it was investigating Downing Street parties. First Sue Gray's report date was to be delayed, then it could be split in two - and now it's thought the whole thing could be published in days after all

Daily Mirror 26 JAN 2022







Police will investigate "a number of events" where Covid lockdown rules were allegedly broken



Two years ago, Boris Johnson became the first Prime Minister to deliver a landslide victory since Tony Blair. Now he may have another, more dubious honour also held by his predecessor. Mr Johnson could be interviewed by detectives as part of the criminal investigation into "partygate", Scotland Yard has confirmed.


The Metropolitan Police Service has now launched its own inquiry into claims that illegal gatherings were held in Downing Street and Whitehall, during lockdown. Mr Blair was under investigation over cash for honours when he was interviewed by police in 2006 and Martin Evans has spoken to a police source who reveals why Mr Johnson "will not get the same treatment" as the former Labour leader.


Mr Johnson has welcomed the investigation as an opportunity to "draw a line" under the debacle.


He may avoid a criminal record if fined for a Covid rule breach.



A full report into parties across Downing Street and Whitehall could be published as soon as TODAY despite a police investigation as officials mull a dramatic U-turn.

Sources have told the Mirror that despite earlier suggestions it would be delayed or split in two, No10 was now expecting to get the report from Sue Gray at some point last night.

The PM would then hold urgent meetings with top officials before publication today.

It came as shock reports emerged that top civil servant Sue Gray has been handed photos of No10 parties that show Boris Johnson and others close together with wine bottles.

Sky News reported the latest revelation - though it is not thought such photos would be included in any final report.

Chaos erupted this morning when the Metropolitan Police announced it will finally investigate claims of multiple lockdown-flouting bashes.


Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick confirmed her officers will investigate "a number of events" where Covid lockdown rules were allegedly broken.



That raised the extraordinary prospect of Boris Johnson being interviewed by police officers over his role in the multiple breaches.

But it briefly meant top civil servant Sue Gray might have had to “pause” key parts of her hotly-awaited report into the parties.




Whitehall enforcer Sue Gray has been mounting an inquiry





That would have held Boris Johnson’s fate with Tory MPs in limbo while he waited weeks or months for the final parts of Sue Gray’s report.

At lunchtime today, the PM’s spokesman suggested Sue Gray’s report could be split in two. He said Sue Gray "won't publish anything that relates to the work of the police” - while continuing to work on allegations that do not reach the police "threshold".

But it’s understood this stance changed moments later, when Scotland Yard made it clear they do not believe her report would prejudice a trial.

This is because punishments for breaking lockdown were mostly fixed penalty notices, which do not require a jury or a full court process.





Boris Johnson on the day of his birthday in 2020 when a gathering was held for him in No10




Since this lunchtime, the Cabinet Office has been in talks with Scotland Yard about whether a full report could be published.

At 4pm today The Times reported that Ms Gray has cleared publication with the Metropolitan Police and plans to hand her report over to Boris Johnson later this week.

A government source told the Mirror No10 getting hold of Sue Gray’s report "could happen as quickly" as today if there are no major obstacles.

If so, the report could be published by No10 on Wednesday just before PMQs, the source said.

This afternoon the Prime Minister’s spokesman would not be drawn - saying only that discussions around details are still being worked through between police and the investigations team

The Prime Minister is already fighting for his political life ahead of the Whitehall probe.

Scotland Yard's announcement threatened to blow apart his attempts to shore up support among mutinous Tory MPs who are already plotting his downfall.

Mr Johnson signalled he is willing to speak to police but believes he has not broken the law.

He told MPs it is "right" for Scotland Yard to investigate and that he believes it will "help to draw a line under matters".

Downing Street confirmed the PM was prepared to be interviewed saying he would "cooperate fully" with the police inquiry - including handing over diaries and phone records.

Asked if the PM thinks he has not broken the law, his spokesman said: "I need to be cautious about what I say but I think that's fair to say that he does not."

However, Mr Johnson is believed to have attended at least half a dozen of the social gatherings, even if only for a short time, while the rest of the country faced restrictions.

The last time a PM was interviewed by police was Tony Blair during the cash-for-honours row which began in 2006 but lasted 16 months, overshadowing the final days of his leadership.

The Mirror understands Scotland Yard has not objected to the publication of any part of Sue Gray’s report.

Cabinet Office officials are understood to be in discussions with the Met over how much of the report can be released, and when.

In a statement, her office said: "The investigation being carried out by Sue Gray is continuing. There is in ongoing contact with the Metropolitan Police Service."

Downing Street had earlier faced claims of trying to hide behind the police investigation.

A Government source had told the Mirror: "If you join the dots it's an almost inescapable conclusion that we cannot publish the investigation until the Met have finished their inquiry".

Ms Gray is also looking into surprise birthday party thrown for the PM by wife Carrie during the first lockdown despite indoor social events being banned.

More than 30 officials gathered for the PM's birthday bash in the Cabinet Room for up to half an hour in the afternoon of June 19, 2020, according to ITV News.

Mrs Johnson led the staff in a chorus of happy birthday while the PM was presented with a cake by his wife and interior designer Lulu Lytle, before tucking into picnic food from M&S.

Appearing before the London Assembly police and crime committee, the Met chief insisted that her force "police without fear or favour" when challenged about why Scotland Yard hasn't investigated reports of No 10 parties to date.

But she added: "I absolutely understand there is deep public concern about the allegations that have been in the media over the last several weeks.

“Many many people including many Londoners, and indeed my colleagues have made huge sacrifices and they've suffered considerable loss during the pandemic."

Mr Johnson kept Cabinet ministers in the dark over the police investigation having been launched during their Cabinet meeting.

Only Jacob Rees-Mogg came out to defend Mr Johnson minutes after the Met announced its decision.

"The leadership this country has had under Boris Johnson has been so brilliant - he has got all the big decisions right," he said.

Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross repeated his call for the PM to resign, saying "the whole thing is very damaging".

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said: "We welcome this investigation by the Metropolitan police. With Boris Johnson's Downing Street now under police investigation, how on earth can he think he can stay on as Prime Minister?

“Millions of people are struggling to pay the bills, but Boris Johnson and his government are too wrapped up in scandal to do anything about it. Boris Johnson is a national distraction.

“Conservative MPs should stop propping him up and he should finally do the decent thing and resign."

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Old 28-01-22, 15:03   #18
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze: Champagne Party Night Before Brits Hit by Tax & Bills Bombshell

Met POLICE Demand Sue Gray’s Partygate Report is Watered Down With Minimal Reference to Crimes

POLICE chiefs have asked for details to be left out of the upcoming report into No 10 parties - throwing its publication into doubt.

The release of the report into alleged Downing Street parties has been thrown into doubt after the Metropolitan Police asked for "minimal reference" to be made to the events it is investigating.


28 Jan 2022 The Sun





The Met confirmed today it has told Whitehall enforcer Sue Gray to redact parts of her dossier that cover the events officers are investigating.



In a statement the force said including anything more than "minimal" information about the most serious bashes could prejudice its own probe.

Scotland Yard added: "For the events the Met is investigating, we asked for minimal reference to be made in the Cabinet Office report.

"The Met did not ask for any limitations on other events in the report, or for the report to be delayed.

"But we have had ongoing contact with the Cabinet Office , including on the content of the report, to avoid any prejudice to our investigation."

The full Gray Report will still be published but only after police inquiries have wrapped up, which could take weeks.

It leaves the top civil servant now facing the choice of putting out a watered down version in the meantime or withholding the whole thing.

There have been almost 20 alleged parties, with officers only probing those that would represent the most serious breaches of Covid laws at the time.

Technology minister Chris Philp said No 10 still hadn't received this report as of this morning and doesn't know when it will be published.

Boris Johnson yesterday reaffirmed his commitment to release the dossier in full but wouldn't definitely say some parts wouldn't be redacted
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Old 31-01-22, 18:45   #19
 
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First Look at The Sue Gray Partygate Report

31 Jan 2022 Sky News



Sue Gray's report into the multiple parties held at Downing Street during lockdown says the events are "difficult to justify" and show a "failure of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet office at different times".





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Old 01-02-22, 09:41   #20
 
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Gray Finds Failure of Leadership’ at No 10 as Police Investigate 300 Photos

Sue Gray: No 10 Pledges Updated Report After Police Inquiry Finishes

An updated report on lockdown parties in No 10 will be published by Sue Gray once police finish their inquiries, Downing Street has said.

Angry Tories confront Boris Johnson as report finds many of 16 lockdown events ‘difficult to justify’

The Guardian UK 1 FEB. 2022.





Boris Johnson faced a barrage of criticism from his own MPs in the House of Commons.




Boris Johnson has been left desperately trying to shore up his premiership after the Sue Gray report as detectives were revealed to be investigating 300 photos and 12 events in Downing Street, including a party in the prime minister’s private flat.

Johnson faced a wall of anger from Conservative MPs in the House of Commons after Gray’s investigation concluded that many of the 16 parties were “difficult to justify” and condemned “failures of leadership and judgment” in No 10 and the Cabinet Office.

Scotland Yard officers have obtained more than 300 photographs and 500 pages of documents. The images include pictures taken at alleged parties and from security-system cameras showing people entering and exiting buildings, the Guardian understands.

Tory grandees were among those who made stinging interventions criticising Johnson’s conduct, with his predecessor, Theresa May, questioning his comprehension of the rules and the former chief whip Andrew Mitchell saying the prime minister no longer had his support.

Angela Richardson, a Tory aide, said she had resigned her government job last week citing “disappointment” with the prime minister, while Aaron Bell, an MP from the 2019 intake, gave an emotionally charged speech accusing Johnson of making him look like a fool after he stuck to the rules during his grandmother’s funeral.

However, Johnson appeared to have staved off an immediate challenge by pledging a shakeup of his Downing Street operation and belatedly promising to publish Gray’s full blow-by-blow account of the parties once the police have finished investigating.

He later made a rare address to all his MPs, announcing changes to his No 10 staff in the coming days. He suggested that his former election guru, Sir Lynton Crosby, would be returning to help in an unofficial role.

Conservatives were initially dismayed by Johnson’s defiant Commons performance in which he refused to commit to publishing Gray’s full report, which was redacted following the announcement of a Metropolitan police inquiry.

'I get it and I will fix it': Boris Johnson responds to Sue Gray report –


But after former ministers including Mark Harper and Tobias Ellwood pressed him for a full and unredacted publication, he was forced into a U-turn.

Several Tory MPs opposed to the prime minister’s continued leadership said they were witnessing “death by 1,000 cuts” and questioned why more of their colleagues were not submitting letters of no confidence. At least 54 are needed for a ballot on Johnson’s leadership, but even sharp critics like Mitchell are not believed to have handed in letters.

One MP said Johnson’s determination to keep fighting meant removing him would be “extremely painful” and cause huge damage to the party, while another said it was clear Tory MPs would at some point need to “get the screwdrivers out to prise his hands off the doors of Downing Street”.

The 12-page Gray report identified “failures of leadership and judgment” but left many questions unanswered, including whether Johnson had misled the Commons by denying parties took place and saying all Covid rules were followed.

Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster leader, was thrown out of the Commons for breaching protocol by repeatedly accusing the prime minister of having “lied and misled” parliament.



MPs said the most damaging allegation was of a party on 13 November 2020, the evening that former aide Dominic Cummings quit, in Boris and Carrie Johnson’s flat. There had been reports of loud music and partying heard in the press office below and the alleged gathering is now under police investigation.

The prime minister refused to tell parliament whether he was present in the flat that evening. He had previously denied in the Commons that any party took place on that date. Johnson was also present for at least one other of the parties under investigation by police – the “bring your own booze” affair in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020.

Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said: “There can be no doubt that the prime minister himself is now subject to criminal investigation.”

'A man without shame': Keir Starmer says Boris Johnson will not resign after Sue Gray report


Johnson rebuffed questions about his own conduct, but promised to overhaul the structure of No 10 to address some of Gray’s criticisms. “I get it and I will fix it,” he told MPs. He also sought to turn his fire on the opposition by making discredited claims about Starmer having failed to prosecute paedophile Jimmy Savile when he was director of public prosecutions.

One cabinet minister said there was significant concern about the continued centralisation of No 10, however: “One of the reasons this situation has evolved has been a reluctance from some people around the PM to take outside advice.” Another senior minister said: “Departments are constantly frustrated by nameless people in No 10 – is this the moment to add another layer of them.”

Tory MPs initially said they were unimpressed by Johnson’s Commons performance and accused him of misjudging the mood – but many are continuing to withhold judgement until the Met investigation is complete, a new test of whether Johnson will personally get a sanction for breaching Covid rules.

In her report, Gray did not criticise the prime minister personally or pass judgment on his past statements, but she highlighted failures at the heart of government.

Gray listed 16 gatherings on 12 dates across 20 months in 2020-21 that she had examined for evidence of rule-breaking, of which 12 are being investigated by police.

Gray said her report was limited by the Met’s request for her to make only minimal reference to gatherings that they were investigating. She said she had decided not to publish factual accounts of the other four dates as she did not feel able to do so without detriment to the overall balance of findings.

It is understood that a more detailed full report currently exists and that Gray is keen to see that put into the public domain.
Mark Harper, the former chief whip, said he was still uneasy about the prime minister’s commitment to publishing the full document, saying that Johnson had to commit “at the despatch box”.


Gray Report - Gray report


Ian Blackford told to leave Commons after saying Johnson had lied




Ukraine Crisis-Missed Putin Call Demonstrates 'Systemic Chaos' in Number 10

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Old 03-02-22, 10:40   #21
 
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Tories Brace for Inevitable' Challenge to Boris -FIVE MORE MPs Mull No-Confidence Letters

PM could face £12,000 fine for SIX lockdown-busting parties and anger about Savile 'slur' at Starmer - but he vows to stay


BBC News 3 FEB. 2022





Boris Johnson is still being buffeted by the Partygate storm with warnings that he could face £12,000 in fines if police found to have broken lockdown rules by attending six Downing Street bashes.




The premier has voiced defiance insisting he has a 'lot more to do', will fight the next election and wants to be in power until the end of the decade. However, worryingly for Mr Johnson the Conservative anger at him has been breaking through into open opposition, with three more MPs announcing they have written to 1922 committee chair Sir Graham Brady in just 24 hours.


Sir Gary Streeter, Mr Johnson's 'slur' about Keir Starmer failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile - as he scrambled to distract attention from his own woes - seems to have further infuriated many on his own benches with swipes that he is a 'pound shop Trump'.

It takes the number who have declared sending letters to seven - although the true figure is thought to be several times that as most do not reveal their intentions. Another five MPs, including members of the government, are considering submitting their letters, although it is not known if they will announce doing so.


In a round of interviews this morning, Foreign Office minister James Cleverly insisted the PM is focused on 'delivery' - and suggested Tories should not be staging a revolt when Russia is on the verge of invading Ukraine.
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Old 04-02-22, 23:48   #22
 
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Four Senior Aides to Boris Johnson Resign From No 10

No 10 chief of staff Dan Rosenfield and senior civil servant Martin Reynolds are the latest to quit.

Outgoing adviser skewers ‘scurrilous’ Johnson

BBC 4 Feb 2022




The resignations leave significant questions over the Downing Street operation



Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been rocked by a string of resignations from his team of aides in Downing Street.

Policy adviser Elena Narozanski is the latest to leave her role, after four senior staff members quit on Thursday.

Mr Johnson attempted to rally staff at a meeting on Friday morning, telling them "change is good".

The PM is battling to save his premiership as Conservative MPs consider whether to oust him over lockdown parties in Downing Street.

A No 10 spokesman confirmed the PM quoted The Lion King character Rafiki, telling them "change is good", at a meeting with his team and acknowledged it was a "challenging time".

They added that Mr Johnson "reflected on the privilege of working in No 10" and "thanked those who are leaving for their contribution alongside the whole team for their work".

On Friday morning, backbencher Huw Merriman told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the PM should "shape up or ship out".

But Energy Minister Greg Hands told BBC Breakfast the resignations came after Mr Johnson "made it clear there would be a shake-up" of the Downing Street operation, following criticism from senior civil servant Sue Gray in her report on rule-breaking parties.

When asked about Ms Gray's findings, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the prime minister had "started making changes" and supported his leadership.

Three of the departed aides were caught up in the lockdown parties row, including senior civil servant Martin Reynolds, who sent out an invitation to a "bring your own booze" party.

But policy chief Munira Mirza quit over the PM's false claim that Labour leader Sir Keir failed to prosecute Savile when he was director of public prosecutions, and his refusal to apologise.

In a scathing resignation letter, Ms Mirza - who worked alongside the PM for 14 years - described the his comments about Savile as "scurrilous".

Chancellor Rishi Sunak publicly distanced himself from the PM's original comment, saying: "Being honest, I wouldn't have said it."

And asked if Mr Johnson should apologise, he said: "That's for the prime minister to decide."





Education policy adviser Elena Narozanski - a keen amateur boxer - is the latest No 10 aide to resign



The director of communications, Jack Doyle, confirmed his exit shortly after the departure of Ms Mirza.

Mr Doyle told staff that "recent weeks have taken a terrible toll on my family life", but that he had always intended to leave after two years.

A statement from a No 10 spokeswoman said chief of staff Dan Rosenfield had offered his resignation to the prime minister earlier on Thursday, but would stay on while his successor was found.

And Mr Reynolds - the prime minister's principal private secretary - will do the same, but then return to a role at the Foreign Office.

Ms Narozanski - who quit on Friday morning - is understood to have been loyal to Ms Mirza.

Ms Mirza's resignation was the "most significant", Labour's shadow secretary for climate change Ed Miliband told the BBC.

Condemning the "terrible slur" against Sir Keir, Mr Miliband said the PM had become "a stain on our politics" and called on Tory MPs to oust him.

Sunak's Stance

Analysis by Nick Eardley, Political Correspondent


Rishi Sunak is a politician who likes to stick to the script - and choose his words carefully.

As the favourite to take over from Boris Johnson - the chancellor knows any criticism of the prime minister is highly significant.

So his decision on Thursday to very publicly distance himself from Mr Johnson made many in Westminster sit up and take notice.

At a press conference, Mr Sunak made it perfectly clear he disagreed with Mr Johnson's comments about Sir Keir's time as director of public prosecutions.

The prime minister said earlier this week that Sir Keir had failed to prosecute Savile - despite the Labour leader not being involved in that decision. You can read a Reality Check here.

Asked about the PM's controversial comments, the chancellor replied: "I wouldn't have said that."

There are further comments in The Sun this morning too, making light of the controversy over parties in Downing Street.

"We've always been the party of sound money, we'll always continue to be on my watch, and that's the only kind of party I'm interested in," writes Mr Sunak.

The chancellor has always insisted he works well with the PM.

But at a time when Mr Johnson is under pressure over his judgement, even mild mannered criticism from Mr Sunak will lead many to question what the chancellor is up to.

Sunak on PM's Savile claims: "I wouldn't have said it."





Letters of Ho Donfidence

The resignations of aides come as backbench unrest is growing within the Conservative Party.

The BBC is aware of 17 Tory MPs who have submitted letters of no confidence in the prime minister - 54 are needed to trigger a leadership contest.

Many have cited the PM's participation in parties with staff in No 10 during lockdowns as their motivation to challenge Mr Johnson.

These gatherings included a "bring your own booze" garden party in May 2020 - the email invite to which was sent by Mr Reynolds.

The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into 12 of the parties and a full report by Ms Gray is expected to be published afterwards.

Aides Who have Quit





Who Are The Aides Who Resigned?

The head of policy at No 10, Munira Mirza worked for Boris Johnson for 14 years, including when he was mayor of London, and was seen as one of his most trusted advisers.

Jack Doyle worked as a Daily Mail journalist before joining Downing Street. He is reported to have attended one of the Christmas gatherings in December 2020, where he thanked staff for their work.

Martin Reynolds is a civil servant and worked as Mr Johnson's Principal Private Secretary. In that role, he headed up the PM's private office. He is responsible for sending an email invitation to staff inviting them to socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden in May 2020.

Dan Rosenfield joined Number 10 as chief of staff in January 2021, and had worked in the Treasury for former chancellors Alistair Darling and George Osborne.

Elena Narozanski - Education policy specialist. Former adviser to Michael Gove and Theresa May, who headed the New Schools for London programme, when Mr Johnson was mayor. Amateur boxer in her spare time.


Speaking to Channel 5 News after Ms Mirza quit - but before the news of the other resignations was made public - the prime minister said he was "sorry to lose Munira".

But asked about her conclusion that his remarks about Sir Keir had been "inappropriate and partisan", Mr Johnson replied: "Well, I don't agree with that."

He said: "No-one is commenting, least of all me, about the personal involvement of the leader of the opposition in the handling of that case.

"All that I've said is that the leader of the opposition apologised for the CPS's handling of that issue during his tenure and that's all frankly that needs to be said on that matter."

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Old 11-02-22, 07:04   #23
 
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Cressida Dick to Step Down as Metropolitan Police Chief

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick is leaving her role after a series of damaging controversies.

BBC News 11 FEB. 2022.





Dame Cressida said she had been left with "no choice" after London Mayor Sadiq Khan made it clear to her he had no confidence in her leadership.


Last week, the police watchdog found "disgraceful" misogyny, discrimination and sex harassment among some Met PCs.



Dame Cressida, the first woman to lead the biggest UK police force, also faced criticism over the Sarah Everard case.

Her conduct was referenced in an independent report that accused the force of institutional corruption over the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan, and before she became commissioner she was in charge of the operation that led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Speaking on BBC London hours before her departure was announced, she insisted that she had "absolutely no intention" of quitting, and that she was "seething angry" about the police watchdog's findings into the culture at Charing Cross police station.

But in his statement, Mr Khan said he was "not satisfied" with Dame Cressida's response and that she "will be stepping aside" as a result.

Mr Khan thanked the commissioner for her 40-year policing career.


He said he would now "work closely with the home secretary on the appointment of a new commissioner" with an aim to restore trust in the Met.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Dame Cressida "has served her country with great dedication and distinction over many decades".

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the police chief held the role "during challenging times" and that she "exemplified the increasingly diverse nature of our police".

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper thanked Dame Cressida for her public service and said reform was needed to rebuild public confidence after recent cases.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said a change in the force's leadership was "long overdue".

He added that Boris Johnson, whose part in the Downing Street parties held during lockdown is still being investigated by the Met, must have no role in choosing her successor.

Harvey Proctor, a former MP falsely accused of murder during a disastrous probe into claims of a VIP paedophile ring, said her departure had come not a "day too soon" and called for a full inquiry into all her "personal mistakes".

Alastair Morgan, who has spent decades campaigning for justice for his brother Daniel after he was killed with an axe in a pub car park in south-east London in the 1980s, said Dame Cressida had "disappointed" his family on every level during her time in charge.

"Although I think it is a shame that we are seeing another commissioner disappear under a cloud of smoke, it is necessary," he said.

The partner of a man who was murdered by serial killer Stephen Port said the resignation was "about time".

Ricky Waumsley previously called for her to quit after an inquest jury found police failures had likely contributed to the death of his partner Daniel Whitworth and two more of Port's victims.


A Decision Taken For Her

Analysis by Tom Symonds, home affairs correspondent



On Thursday morning she was adamant. She wasn't going. But all the signs are that the decision was taken for her by Sadiq Khan.

The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the home secretary, but the commissioner cannot do the job without the support of the mayor.

In the last few weeks attempts were made to convince him that the Met's plan would deliver change.

But that plan involved a review - by Dame Louise Casey - that would have taken much of the year.

She had been given the power to roam freely through the force looking for bad attitudes and poor management of disciplinary issues.

That would have been a period when more revelations were inevitably going to emerge making the commissioner's position even more difficult.

The mayor's timetable was different - days, weeks at most. He needed to be convinced. His officials didn't sound it on Wednesday. Thursday night's development is the result.

Dame Cressida, who served in the role for four years and was recently given a two-year contract extension, has agreed with the mayor that she will continue to serve for a short time period to enable an orderly handover.


She said in a statement: "It is with huge sadness that following contact with the mayor of London today, it is clear that the mayor no longer has sufficient confidence in my leadership to continue.

"He has left me no choice but to step aside as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service."

"The murder of Sarah Everard and many other awful cases recently have, I know, damaged confidence in this fantastic police service," she added.

"There is much to do - and I know that the Met has turned its full attention to rebuilding public trust and confidence. For that reason I am very optimistic about the future for the Met and for London."

The Met had submitted a plan to Mr Khan last Friday on reforming the force and a meeting was due to be held on Thursday afternoon. A City Hall source said Mr Khan made it clear through his officials - but not directly to the commissioner - that the plan was not going to work and the meeting was cancelled.

Ken Marsh, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers in London, said Dame Cressida had been unfairly treated.

"We feel the way she has been treated is wholly unfair and we did believe that she was the person who could take us through this and bring us out the other side," he said.

In 2008, the then-Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair stood down after he lost the support of the London mayor at the time, Boris Johnson.


Controversies as Commissioner




Dame Cressida DickImage source, Reuters


Officers based at Charing Cross police station were found by an inquiry to have joked about rape and exchanged offensive social media messages. The Met said it was "deeply sorry"


The delay to the publication of Sue Gray's full report into lockdown parties at Downing Street was a "stitch-up" between the Met and No 10, the SNP and Liberal Democrats said. The Met's investigation is ongoing

The rape, abduction and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met Police officer prompted a wave of criticism and scrutiny


Further controversy came when clashes broke out between women and police officers at a vigil in her memory, held under Covid lockdown measures

There were accusations of racism from the mother of two women murdered in a park in Wembley. Mina Smallman believes police treated the disappearance and deaths of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry less urgently than if they had been white


The disappearance of Richard Okorogheye, a teenager found dead two weeks after his mother reported him missing, is being reviewed by the police watchdog, which will consider whether ethnicity played a role in the way his case was handled
And athlete Bianca Williams and her partner believe they were racially profiled when their car was stopped by Met officers in Maida Vale, in 2020. The couple were handcuffed and separated from their baby son. The Met apologised


Dame Cressida also had to deal with the repercussions from the disastrous Operation Midland, the multimillion-pound investigation which saw detectives duped by false claims of a VIP sex abuse ring made by the paedophile and fantasist Carl Beech


A report by an independent panel set up in 2013 into the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan accused the force of institutional corruption, and found that the then-Assistant Commissioner Dame Cressida had initially refused to grant access to a police internal data system

Further criticism came over the security of Wembley stadium during the final of the Euro 2020 championships, which saw thousands of ticketless fans storm the venue. Dame Cressida defended the Met's response
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Old 23-02-22, 10:52   #24
 
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Leak Confirms Partygate Questionnaire Includes Police Caution

Met’s questionnaire asks recipients if they have ‘reasonable excuse’ for attending gatherings in lockdown

“You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you subsequently rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”


BBC 23 FEB 2022










Boris Johnson has already returned his replies to the Metropolitan police’s questions, and is believed to have argued that he attended social events in No 10 in a work capacity.





The first glimpse of a Partygate questionnaire confirms that Downing Street insiders are being questioned under police caution – and asked if they have a “reasonable excuse” for attending lockdown-busting gatherings.




A copy of one of the official questionnaires, obtained by ITV, shows it includes the police caution: “You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you subsequently rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “This is an embarrassment that for the first time in UK history we have a PM interviewed under police caution.”

As well as asking the recipient to confirm their attendance at a specific event, the leaked questionnaire shows they were also asked: “What was the purpose of your participation in that gathering?” and “did you interact with, or undertake any activity with, other persons present at the gathering. If yes, please provide details.”

Recipients were offered the opportunity to give a “lawful exception” or “reasonable excuse” for attending. Johnson is understood to have hired a lawyer to help him draw up his responses, which Downing Street has confirmed were submitted before the deadline of last Friday.


Questionnaires are still being sent to some officials. The Met will then have to decide whether to impose fixed penalty notices for breaking lockdown rules.



The Met investigation into 12 social events, several of which the prime minister is known to have attended, was triggered by evidence uncovered by the senior civil servant Sue Gray, whose full report on her inquiry will not be published until the police have completed their work.

Johnson’s allies are convinced he has a justification for attending events that took place at No 10, which is his home as well as his workplace. He initially denied reports that parties had been held in Downing Street, telling MPs: “All guidance was followed completely.”

Receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaching rules that he himself drew up is regarded as unacceptable to many backbenchers, and would be likely to prompt more letters calling for a vote of no confidence.

If 54 such letters are submitted to the chair of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, a vote of no confidence in Johnson would be triggered, and if he lost such a vote, his premiership would be over.
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Old 29-03-22, 20:56   #25
 
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Partygate: Met Police to Issue First Fines -Arrests Expected

The first fines for breaches of Covid-19 lockdown rules as part of a police inquiry into government parties will be issued soon, the BBC has been told.

BBC News 29 MAR 2022.






The Metropolitan Police will issue at least 15 fixed-penalty fines initially and could start on Tuesday, Westminster sources suggest.

The investigation of 12 events held across government began in January.


It came after an internal inquiry passed information to the force. The Guardian said fines were "imminent".

Downing Street and the Met have not commented, but government sources told the BBC officers could be about to begin issuing the fines.

For months, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government were dogged by reports of staff parties in Downing Street when Covid restrictions were in place.

Several Conservative MPs had called for Mr Johnson to resign over the parties, but some have changed their stance in recent weeks since the war in Ukraine started.

Education Minister Will Quince told Radio 4's Today programme the "events that took place shouldn't have happened" and added that there had been "considerable change" in Downing Street since the revelations of lockdown events.

Don't Forget How Much Trouble The PM Was In....


Quite rightly, the WAR in Ukraine has been sucking up much of the government's and Parliament's focus in recent weeks.

That has released one form of pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson - and replaced it with another more serious in nature as he, together with allies, try to cope with a grave conflict.

But don't forget how much trouble Mr Johnson and his team were in, over multiple allegations of breaking the Covid-19 regulations they themselves set.

Even the minimalist version of the official Whitehall report into what went on was scathing.

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Old 03-04-22, 02:32   #26
 
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Oh Crap! re: BORIS Sleeze: PM on Hols Amid Chaos & Asylum Seekers Flight Leaves UK For Rwanda

Boris Johnson Hosted Champagne Party Night Before Brits Hit by Tax and Bills Bombshell

The night before Britain was plunged into a cost of living crisis, Boris Johnson hosted a lavish champagne reception

Daily Mirror 3 APR 2022






Boris Johnson hosted the lavish reception


Boris Johnson hosted a lavish champagne reception - the night before Britain was plunged into a cost of living crisis, it has been reported.


The event is said to have taken place at posh Mayfair hotel Claridges on Thursday evening, where wealthy donors rubbed shoulders with ministers over glasses of bubbly.

The next morning, energy prices and taxes soared for millions of Brits already struggling to make ends meet.

And according to the Sun, Mr Johnson joked about Partygate at the bash - at the same time as the Metropolitan police began to issue its first fines over the scandal.

“I can assure you that you won’t be sent any questionnaires for attending this event," he reportedly told guests.

The Sun reported around 150 guests ate "fancy canapés" and swilled champagne as top Tories rattled their donation tins to fill their elections war chest.





The event reportedly took place at Mayfair's posh Claridges hotel


The Prime Minister himself was not seen drinking alcohol, the paper reported.

Officials were yesterday handed the first £50 Partygate fines, reportedly relating to a leaving do during the first lockdown.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed this week that 20 fixed penalty notices would be issued over law-breaking gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall during the pandemic

Downing Street has said it won't name anyone slapped with a fixed penalty notice, unless the Prime Minister or civil service chief Simon Case get a fine.

No10 and Boris Johnson have so far refused to say laws were broken - despite police saying fines would be issued for Covid law-breaking.



Related;


Infosys: Giant Firm Founded by Chancellor Sunak's Father-in-Law Closes Russian Office

The tech giant, in which the Chancellor's wife Akshata Murty owns a 0.91% stake reportedly worth £690 million, is shutting its office in Russia after facing criticism for still operating in the country five weeks after Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine


A multi-million-pound tech firm founded by Rishi Sunak's billionaire father-in-law is shutting down its Russian office, it has emerged.



The Chancellor's wife Akshata Murty owns a 0.91% stake in tech giant Infosys reportedly worth £690 million.

Infosys, which employs thousands of staff in the UK and is said to have held contracts with government ministries and public bodies, has faced harsh criticism for continuing to operate in Russia five weeks after President Vladimir Putin's forces invaded Ukraine.

Tonight the BBC reports the Indian IT company is now trying to find replacement roles abroad for staff employed in Moscow.

Mr Sunak has previously rejected allegations his family has been "benefiting from Vladimir Putin's regime" when pressed about his wife's stake in Infosys.

He told Sky News he had "nothing to do with that company" and said he had "absolutely no idea" whether Infosys was following the "significant actions" put in place in response to the invasion.




Charles chats with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy at an event last night


Earlier, Keir Starmer demanded to know whether Mr Sunak’s family was benefiting from cash made in Russia.

The Labour leader said: "As the Chancellor's wife is concerned, there's just a fundamental principle, is their household benefiting from money made in Russia when the Government has put in place sanctions?

"That is in the public interest for us to have an answer to - I'm not attacking their family but I do want to know if the Chancellor's household is benefiting from money from a company that's investing in Russia when the Government is saying quite rightly that nobody should be doing that."





Russian President Vladimir Putin with India's second-largest software exporter Infosys Chairman and Chief Mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy


Earlier this week, Mr Sunak angrily hit out at his wife and her family being thrust into the spotlight.

“I think it's totally fine for people to take shots at me, it's fair game - I'm the one sitting here and that's what I signed up for,” he told BBC Newscast.

"It's very upsetting and wrong for people to try and come at my wife and beyond that actually, with regard to my father-in-law, for whom I have nothing but enormous pride and admiration for everything that he's achieved.

"No amount of attempted smearing is going to make me change that because he's wonderful and has achieved a huge amount.

“As I said, I'm enormously proud."

The Chancellor has previously urged business owners to "think very carefully about any investments that would in any sense support Putin and his regime" as fighting continues across Ukraine.

Labour 's deputy leader Angela Rayner has said Mr Sunak's ties to Infosys amount to a "conflict of interest," and has demanded Mr Sunak declare his wife’s shareholdings "in the usual way" on the Register of Members’ Interests.

She told the Mirror: "One minute he is telling British companies to think carefully about investments that in any sense support Putin and his regime - the next we hear his family are making millions from a company operating out of the Russian capital.

"This company, founded by Sunak’s father-in-law, has been handed millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in contracts.

" Rishi Sunak must come clean about whether he is personally benefiting from business in Russia and whether he has declared this conflict of interest to the Permanent Secretary or if he's been profiting in secret."



Despite allegations of "hypocrisy", Mr Sunak has insisted he has “followed the ministerial code to the letter” and has previously denied benefitting from doing business in Russia.

A spokesperson for the Chancellor told the Mirror Ms Murthy is a "minority shareholder" in the firm, adding:

"Neither her nor any member of her family have any involvement in the operational decisions of the company."



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Old 08-04-22, 11:55   #27
 
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Chancellor Sunaks' Wife Avoided up to £20m in Tax With Non-Dom Status

Chancellor Accused of Breathtaking Hypocrisy… Sunak Wife Firm Paid £50m by YOU

--- A Mirror investigation has found the Murty family’s vast Infosys business made tens of millions of pounds from British taxpayer-funded contracts, some since Mr Sunak became Chancellor in 2020

Pressure grows on chancellor over tax affairs of wife, who pays £30,000 a year to be classed as non-domiciled


BBC News 8 APR 2022.







The Mirror has uncovered details of a string of lucrative public sector contracts won by Infosys, the Indian IT firm which is part owned by Chancellor Rishi Sunak ’s wife.


Akshata Murty pays £30,000 a year to secure her non-domiciled tax status, which allows her to avoid paying taxes on millions of pounds earned from her near-1% stake in Infosys overseas.



Labour leader Keir Starmer condemned her “breathtaking hypocrisy” for claiming non-dom status while living in Downing Street with a Chancellor husband who has hiked taxes for millions of ordinary people.

While the Tories force people to choose between eating or heating, the millionaire Chancellor with four luxury homes parades his wealth on social media, posing in £95 slider shoes before the last Budget and with a £180 “smart mug” the year before.




The Chancellor's home at Kirby Sigston Manor, near Northallerton


His brutal 1.25% hike in National Insurance came into force this week.


Our investigation found the Murty family’s vast Infosys business made tens of millions of pounds from British taxpayer-funded contracts, some since Mr Sunak became Chancellor in 2020.

Since 2016, Infosys has earned £15million working for the Care Quality Commission, the regulator of UK care homes. In 2019, it won a £5m contract with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and this year secured a £25m IT contract from the Tory-run East Sussex County Council.

Infosys is among companies which shared £100m in public sector contracts between 2015 and 2021.






Rishi Sunak's wife's parents




Vladimir Putin with Narayana Murthy






It was one of 12 suppliers in a £95m deal with Transport for London in 2015, at a time when Prime Minister Boris Johnson was Mayor of London.

And it was one of nine partners in a £10m contract with Tory-run Westminster City Council last year.



Angela Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader, told the Mirror: “The British public deserve answers. The Government is already awash with Tory cronyism. Now it seems the Chancellor’s close family are personally benefiting from lucrative public contracts. Rishi Sunak must come clean about these business interests and any potential conflicts.”

And Ed Miliband said the Chancellor should issue an “explanation” about his wife’s tax status.

Speaking to Sky News, the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change said: “He is the UK Chancellor asking people to pay more in taxes.

“Is it right that his immediate family is sheltering from UK taxes? I think Rishi Sunak and his family should reflect on that. Non-dom status is legal but I think we should be clear that non-dom status is used to... pay less tax than you otherwise would.”




Ed Miliband said the Chancellor should issue an 'explanation' about his wife's tax status

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Old 09-04-22, 10:33   #28
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze: PM on Hols Amid Chaos & Asylum Seekers Flight Leaves UK For Rwanda

Rishi Sunaks' Non-Dom Wife Akshata Murty Will Pay UK Tax On Overseas Income in HUGE U-Turn

Akshata Murty owns £700million worth of shares of the Indian IT giant Infosys which was founded by her father but did not pay UK tax on any income dividend on those shares


Daily Mirror 9 APR 2022






Rishi Sunak's non-dom wife tonight U-turned and announced she will pay UK tax on her overseas income after a furious backlash.


Akshata Murty owns £700million worth of shares of the Indian IT giant Infosys which was founded by her father.

But she is not thought to have paid UK tax on £11.6m in dividend income from the firm last year.

That is because she is a non-domiciled (non-dom) UK resident - and chooses to pay taxes on foreign income in India, instead of in the UK.

The revelation sparked claims of hypocrisy from the Chancellor's family at a time when he is putting up taxes on Brits. As a non-dom she could have chosen to tax her Indian income in the UK, and did not.




Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murty to pay UK tax





‘Keep families out of it’: Boris Johnson dodges question on Sunak wife tax affairs
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Old 11-04-22, 09:32   #29
 
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Big Grin BORIS Sleeze: Chancellors' Wife WILL Pay UK Tax On HUGE Income

JOE & Santa Monica Beckons for Sunak UK Chancellor






Sunak Faces Inquiry Into His Financial Interests


Just weeks ago, Rishi Sunak was seen as the UK Prime Minister in waiting. Now friends of the Chancellor are discussing whether he will even stand at the next general election. If Boris Johnson manages to survive the climax of the police's "partygate" investigation, Mr Sunak's allies fear he will be reshuffled out of the Treasury.

Amid questions of transparency over his personal wealth, Mr Sunak now faces an investigation into his financial affairs. He wrote to Mr Johnson to ask for an independent review of statements he has made about his finances since becoming a minister in 2018.

It follows a string of disclosures in the past week. It is an open secret that Mr Sunak is attracted to the idea of a future life in California and the expectation among friends is that, if he feels his shot at the top job has gone, he will move his family to Santa Monica.
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Old 12-06-22, 12:10   #30
 
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Tory Minister's Wife Buys Second Supermarket as Brits Face Soaring Food Prices

Nadhim Zahawi's wife has added a Co-op superstore to the couple's £100 million property empire

Daily Mirror 12 JUN 2022





Nadhim Zahawi, the Secretary of State for Education


While many worry about paying for their shopping, a mega-rich top Tory’s family have bought a second supermarket.

Nadhim Zahawi ’s wife Lana now owns two superstores as part of their £100million property empire.




Last September she bought a £6.3million plot which includes a giant Co-op and car park in St Neot’s, Cambridgeshire.

It was purchased through Zahawi and Zahawi Ltd, a company controlled by Mr Zahawi’s wife, the day before he became Secretary of State for Education.

Mr Zahawi was a director and founder but stood down in 2018 upon joining the Government.




The Co-operative Food - Eaton Socon


Another firm controlled by Lana owns land worth £18million containing an Asda megastore in Brierley Hill, West Midlands.

Its value has risen £1.25million since it was bought four years ago.



Mr Zahawi, the 55-year-old MP for Stratford-on-Avon and former vaccines minister, is tipped as a leadership contender if Boris Johnson is forced out.



He has refused to rule out running for the top job, refusing to answer the question three times last week.


In the past six years, the couple’s companies have spent over £80million on commercial properties.

They also own five residences worth £17million – three in London, one in Warwickshire and one in Dubai.


Questions have been raised about Mr Zahawi’s declaration of interests.

Last year, it emerged one of his wife’s firms bought a £3.5million industrial estate by the Eurotunnel train station in Ashford, Kent, mortgage-free – days before the Government secured the trade deal with the EU in December 2020.



Mr Zahawi had played a leading role in preparing for Brexit.

Sir Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said: “In my view, this falls far short of the standards of transparency we expect.


"It is a potential conflict of interest and should have been fully declared.”

In the list of ministers’ interests, Mr Zahawi declares his wife “is director of several limited companies, including Zahawi & Zahawi Ltd, which own commercial and retail property”.

Individual firms and properties are not named. Mr Zahawi was approached for comment.


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Old 14-06-22, 13:59   #31
 
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Movies re: BORIS Sleeze: Barristers STRIKE & Doctors Demand Pay Rise

Boris Johnson Suns Himself on Beach With Family as Travel Chaos Rages Across Britain

---Prime Minister Boris Johnson was photographed with wife Carrie and their two children on the beach in Porthminster, St Ives, as travel chaos continues to rage across Britain

Rwanda Asylum Plan: First Removal Flight Will Take Off, Foreign Secretary Says

---The first flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda will take off and people who are not removed on Tuesday will be on subsequent flights, Liz Truss has said.

Daily Mirror 14 JUN 2022






Boris Johnson has been snapped sunning himself on a beach with his family as travel chaos rages across the country.





Boris Johnson on the beach in St Ives with wife Carrie and their two children

The Prime Minister, as well as his wife Carrie Johnson and their kids were seen today in Porthminster, St Ives, in Cornwall.

It comes as Britain faces the biggest rail strike in a generation later this month while multiple airports are in daily meltdown due to staffing shortages.


The photos were taken by eagle-eyed beachgoers at 2.30pm on Monday.

The Tory leader was wearing a white shirt and colourful swimming shorts and could be seen in one snap walking along the sea front with a plastic spade.

In another, he is sitting with Carrie and the children Wilfred and Romy.

Earlier in the day Mr Johnson had been at Southern England Farms in Hayle, just eight miles from the beach.

Temperatures are expected to hit 34C later this week in the south of England, with the Johnson’s returning to the site of the G7 Summit this time last year.

Last Wednesday it was confirmed members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at Network Rail and 13 train operators will walk out on June 21, 23 and 25.

The strikes are over pay, conditions, 2,500 maintenance job cuts and ticket office closures and will cripple the services.

Separately the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) is also balloting workers for industrial action that could happen later in the summer.

It came days after the 24-hour Underground strike on Monday (June 6), during which Transport for London (TfL) advised passengers: "Do not travel unless necessary."




Commuters queue for the underground to resume at Waterloo station in London

The union said it will be the biggest strike on the railways since 1989.



The coming months are *threatening to turn into a “summer of discontent” as hundreds of thousands of workers across a raft of sectors gear up for possible industrial acton.

Most want a decent pay rise in the face of soaring inflation.


The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated the planned rail and tube strikes will cause a hit of at least £91million to the economy, with London set to suffer the biggest output loss.




British Airways passengers queue inside Heathrow airport Terminal 5


Meanwhile, pilots for easyJet have warned customers will turn their backs on the airline following "unprecedented chaos".

A letter from the easyJet branch of the French SNPL pilots’ union said that the airline has cancelled viable flights.

The letter reportedly said that easyJet is suffering “operational meltdowns” after bosses failed to heed staff warnings about surging demand.

Several UK airports which have seen long queues in recent weeks as the aviation sector struggles to cope with the spike in demand for travel.


Gatwick Airport is suffering a "meltdown every night" due to staff shortages in the air traffic control tower, insiders have revealed.


Boris Johnson on Hols, nervously drives tractor and inspects broccoli at Cornish farm





Rwanda Asylum Plan: First Removal Flight Will Take Off, Foreign Secretary Says

---The first flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda will take off and people who are not removed on Tuesday will be on subsequent flights, Liz Truss has said.

BBC 14 JUN 2022





More than 10,000 people have made the dangerous journey across the Channel this year...


The foreign secretary said it would "establish the principle" and break people traffickers' business models.


Seven or eight people are due to be removed on Tuesday, after dozens won legal cases to be taken off. But more legal challenges are set to be heard.

Church of England leaders described the plan as an "immoral policy".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the government will not be "deterred or abashed" by criticism of the plan.

Four more legal challenges from people set to be flown to the east African nation's capital Kigali are expected to be heard in the courts before the flight departs, after a last-ditch attempt to block the flight altogether was rejected by the Court of Appeal on Monday.


On Monday 138 people reached the UK in three boats, with more than 10,000 migrants making the dangerous journey so far this year.


Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ms Truss confirmed the flight will depart as scheduled even if only a small number of people were on board, describing it as a "key part of our strategy for tacking the appalling people smugglers who are trading in people's hopes and dreams".

She said: "If people aren't on the flight today, they will be on subsequent flights to Rwanda."

Ms Truss added the government was prepared to "face down" future legal challenges to its plans, adding: "It's about making sure that people have a safe future in Rwanda and we're determined to follow through on it".

Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme if the plane would take off even if no one was on board, Ms Truss said she was confident there will people on the flight - but added she was not able to say how many it would be.

However, she said the numbers of people being sent to Rwanda by the end of the year "will be significant".

She also declined to say how much the flight would cost, but argued the cost of human trafficking and illegal immigration was "huge" to the taxpayer.




Boeing 767-35D/ER operated by airline Privileged Style


The flight on Tuesday evening was originally due to carry dozens of passengers, but most succeeded in their individual appeals against removal.

It is not clear exactly how many will leave on the flight: on Monday night, the Home Office said it was eight, while the charity Care4Calais said the number had fallen to seven.

In a letter to the Times, senior Church of England leaders described the plan as an "immoral policy that shames Britain".

Signed by the archbishops of Canterbury and York and more than 20 other bishops who sit in the House of Lords, the letter said that "those to be deported to Rwanda have had no chance to appeal, or reunite with family in Britain".

"They have had no consideration of their asylum claim, recognition of their medical or other needs, or any attempt to understand their predicament."

Speaking in cabinet on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said the government were "going to get on and deliver" on its plan, despite the "criticism that is being directed upon this policy, some of it from slightly unexpected quarters".

He told ministers the objective is to ensure there is a "clear distinction" between immigration to the UK by safe and legal routes that the government supports and "dangerous and illegal cross-Channel migration, which we intend to stop".

Tuesday's flight is due to be the first in a five-year trial, in which some asylum seekers deemed to have entered the UK illegally are transported to Rwanda to claim refuge there.

They will get accommodation and support while the Rwandan government considers their application, and if they are successful they can stay in the country with up to five years' access to education and support.

If their asylum claim is unsuccessful, they will be offered the chance to apply for other immigration routes, but could face deportation from Rwanda.

The letter to The Times, signed by the entire senior leadership of the Church of England, said those being sent to Rwanda have had no chance to reunite with family in Britain.

"Many are desperate people fleeing unspeakable horrors. These are people Jesus had in mind as he said when we offer hospitality to a stranger, we do it for him," it says.

"We cannot offer asylum to everyone, but we must not outsource our ethical responsibilities, or discard international law - which protects the right to claim asylum."

It's not the first time the Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised the plan - he described it as "the opposite of the nature of God" in his Easter sermon.

At the time, the Home Office responded that the UK had a "proud history" of supporting those in need.




At-a-Glance: The Rwanda Policy So Far

The PM announces the five-year £120m trial in which some asylum seekers will get a one-way ticket to Rwanda

It faces widespread opposition from more than 160 charities and campaign groups, a small number of which launch a legal challenge

Home Office lawyers say the plan is in the public interest - and the High Court agrees
Campaigners appealed against the ruling but are unsuccessful

Judges will consider whether the policy is lawful next month - this could see some people returned to the UK from Rwanda if it is ruled unlawful....


On Monday, appeal court judges ruled the first deportation flight could go ahead, agreeing with a previous judgement that it was in the "public interest" for the government to carry out its policies.

Campaigners had hoped to stop the plane taking off before a full court hearing on whether the policy is lawful next month.




A woman in a crowd holds a sign saying 'stop the plane'


Speaking in the Commons on Monday, Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper described the plan as "profoundly un-British".

But Rwanda's high commissioner Johnston Busingye earlier defended the partnership, telling the Daily Telegraph people arriving in the country would be treated with "safety, dignity and respect".
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Old 15-06-22, 09:19   #32
 
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European Judges Stop Rwanda Flight

Rwanda Asylum Flight Cancelled After Legal Action

The first flight due to take asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was cancelled minutes before take-off after legal rulings on Tuesday evening.


BBC News 15 JUN 2022.






A Boeing 767 aircraft at MoD Boscombe Down, near Salisbury, which is believed to be the plane set to take asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda

Up to seven people had been expected to be removed to the east African country.




But the flight was stopped after a late intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) led to fresh challenges in the UK courts.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was "disappointed" but added: "Preparation for the next flight begins now."

However, James Wilson from campaign group Detention Action said the rare intervention from the ECtHR "shows how potentially dangerous" the Rwanda removals are.

He said the court had recognised no one should be forced on to a plane until the policy was fully scrutinised in a High Court hearing next month.

The Rwanda asylum plan, announced by the government in April, sees some asylum seekers who cross the Channel to the UK given a one-way ticket to Rwanda to claim asylum there instead. The government said the scheme would discourage others from crossing the English Channel.

The cancellation of the flight followed days of arguments in UK courts, ending with the home secretary getting the go-ahead to begin transporting some of the asylum seekers.


A Boeing 767, chartered at an estimated cost of £500,000, had been due to take off at 22:30 BST from a military airport in Wiltshire.



But a judgement from the ECtHR in Strasbourg halting the deportation of one of the men arrived just after 19:30, and triggered a series of legal challenges in London courts. By 22:15 all the passengers had been removed from the plane, which then returned to Spain.

The Strasbourg human rights court - part of the Council of Europe, which still counts the UK as a member, rather than the European Union - said an Iraqi man known as KN faced "a real risk of irreversible harm" if he remained on the flight.


Whereas the High Court in London had found that KN could be returned to the UK if his bid to overturn the Rwanda transportation policy succeeded, the ECtHR said there was no legally enforceable mechanism to ensure he could come back from east Africa.



The Strasbourg court also said the UN had raised concerns that UK asylum seekers transferred to Rwanda would not have access to "fair and efficient" procedures to determine their refugee status.

And it noted that the High Court had acknowledged there were serious issues regarding whether Rwanda had been correctly assessed as a safe third country.

The home secretary said these "repeated legal barriers" were similar to those the government faced on other deportations, adding that "many of those removed from this flight will be placed on the next".

Ms Patel said that she had always maintained this policy would "not be easy to deliver" but added it was "very surprising" the European court had intervened after the government had been permitted to go ahead with the flights by domestic courts.

"Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now," she said.


The Rwandan government said it remained committed to its deal with the UK and was "not deterred" by the failure of the first flight to depart.


Spokeswoman Yolande Makolo said: "Rwanda stands ready to receive the migrants when they do arrive and offer them safety and opportunity in our country."


At-a-Glance: The Rwanda Asylum Policy so Far


The PM announces a five-year £120m trial in which some asylum seekers will get a one-way ticket to Rwanda

It faces widespread opposition from more than 160 charities and campaign groups, a small number of which launch a legal challenge

Home Office lawyers say the plan is in the public interest - and the High Court says there is no lawful reason to stop the flight

Campaigners appeal the ruling but are unsuccessful
But a last-minute judgement by the European Court of Human Rights blocking one of the deportations sets off a fresh wave of legal challenges and ultimately grounds the flight

Judges will consider whether the whole Rwanda policy is lawful next month



Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his cabinet that people undermining the Rwanda policy were "abetting the work of criminal gangs" and said the government would not be deterred from the policy.

Asked by reporters if the UK would withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, which the Strasbourg court upholds, Mr Johnson said it "very well may be" necessary to change the law.


But groups supporting asylum seekers urged the government to change course and provide a fair way for people fleeing persecution to seek refuge in the UK.


Refugee Council chief executive Enver Solomon said the fact the flight could not take off was "indicative of the inhumanity of the plan" and said the government had to rethink its plans by having "a grown-up conversation with France" over Channel crossings by migrants.

Mr Wilson from Detention Action said the European Court of Human Rights, founded in the wake of the Holocaust, had "done what it was established to do", calling it "a night for the history books".


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Old 18-06-22, 14:12   #33
 
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The Only Way Is Ethics: Who Will Advise Boris Johnson Now?'

We're at T Point Where There are Literally NO Ethics Left in Downing Street, Says Fleet Street Fox


Boris Johnson's brazen acts that led ANOTHER ethics chief to quit - and why it's dangerous for PM


Daily Mirror 18 JUN 2022






It is a truth universally acknowledged that 1.3million unemployed people must be in want of a job.



And those who enjoy saying what the government ought to do will be interested to learn of a role, freshly-delivered to the jobs market, that comes with the chance to walk the corridors of power, command ministers of the Crown, and generally swan about acting like the big-I-am.


The salary is unknown, but is large enough for its existence to be noted in the House of Lords register of interests. Holidays are likely to be interrupted, and there isn't really any sick leave because if you are sickened, you just have to leave. You're also going to have to spend a lot of time telling the Prime Minister that the only way is ethics
.



Boris Johnson Geidt ethics adviser Good luck with that


After Lord Geidt became the second ethics adviser to flounce out of Downing Street - the first one went in a huff over Priti Patel, this one has departed in a huff about steel tariffs, if you believe that's possible - the job of Independent Adviser on Ministerial Ethics is vacant at a time when the jobs market is awash with opportunities.



Of course, they're opportunities to pick seasonal fruit for 6 weeks and lose rights to Universal Credit for months afterwards, to do back-breaking labour for little pay, wait tables, or drive a lorry into a six-week traffic jam at the ports, so the prospect of a nice office job in an actual palace when all that is asked of you is an opinion may seem proper cushty by comparison.

This was a job first instituted by Tony Blair, soon after he was accused of misleading Parliament over the Iraq War and his majority shrank to 66, which is so piteously small that Theresa May would have chewed stinging nettles for such a swingeing mandate to rule.

It continued under Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and the aforesaid Mrs May, and all may have had their moments of moral wobble - bigoted women, pig's heads, hooliganism in wheat fields - but none of them ever caused the incumbent ethics adviser to down tools in protest.

Boris Johnson Geidt ethics adviser
"Yes, but I'm world-beating"


'I'm a 72-year-old councillor and I've had to take on THREE jobs to make ends meet'


If there's one thing you can say about Boris Johnson, though, it's that he does always like to go one better. And now the job of advising him on the principles of public life is available for the second time in as many years, it would be completely in character for the Prime Minister to decide the next one shouldn't be some stuffy old lord with olde worlde ideas on what's right and, er, the other thing.

Who has the pizzazz to dazzle the media, the zing to adorn the right hand of the Prime Minister, the zap to tell him, yes old boy, you can absolutely do that with no qualms whatsoever? And who, more importantly, is desperate enough to do the job?


Step forward Prince Andrew, Duke of Dork, who just so happens to be looking for a way back into public life and may enjoy being seen as a moral crusader, for once.

"Cripes! Old Bozza's in the poop again, Your Royal Ethics Advisoriness! What do I do about this one?"

"I've got the perfect excuse. Tell them you were in Woking Pizza Express and it's not your hands in the pictures
."






Boris Johnson Geidt ethics adviser > "You're so fired"



Bombshell resignation letter of Boris Johnson's ethics chief blasting PM's rule breach plan

Boris Johnson could scrap ethics chief entirely after second one quits in a row



Perhaps that wouldn't work. What about Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of a thief, ex-girlfriend of a sex abuser, and long-time associate of unpleasant prats in gilded walks of life?
---"Bugger me backwards, Giz, those fiends at the Church of England are calling me morally bankrupt for enabling


Priti Patel! Gizza some backup! Geddit? Gizza! Crumbs, Geidt would've got it."
---"Have you considered hiding, or claiming to be a victim of precisely the thing you're accused of?"

"Hid in a fridge once, didn't go well. And I'm not going to deport myself to Rwanda! They think albinos are the result of witchcraft, they might put Old Bozza in a wicker man! Get thee back to maximum security."


Boris Johnson nails his own coffin shut








Perhaps Loki would like to have a crack at it, or that MP who had a bit of a thing for tractors. Failing that, Vladimir Putin might be looking for an exit strategy from his current predicament, and Sarah Ferguson always seem up for making a bit of money and talking tripe.

The real issue is that ethics and this government seem to be in a state of instable equilibrium, like mutually-repellent magnets. Johnson needs rules in order to be seen as a rule-breaker, and the rules need a bad guy to be seen as necessary.

Neither can exist without the other, yet they pull in opposite directions: it's like having a tug-o'-war with your backs turned.






If the thought of commuting to London every day through simmering union discontent is not enough to put you off this job, the idea that you'd be daily bedevilled by the sort of ethical concerns which would make King Solomon weep hot tears of frustration probably would.

Throw in the fact that the person you'd be guiding through the moral maze is as likely to heed your advice as a cheese-crazed puppy humping Granny's slipper, and frankly we'd all be volunteering to die in a urine-stained sweatbox parked on the A2 outside Dover instead.

Because, as the employment figures show, just because there are 1.3m jobs available and 1.3m unemployed, it does not mean that those without work are in any position to fulfil the roles available.

'A wheelchair-bound accountant isn't going to pick sprouts, and if the combined forces of Eton, Oxford, Her Majesty the Queen, and the Conservative Party can't make Boris Johnson behave, it's probably beyond the power of most mortals.

Which is why he'll either appoint Jacob Rees-Mogg, who no doubt applauds wildly if the PM does a ripping fart, or scrap the role entirely so there are literally no ethics left in Downing Street and he can, therefore, no longer be accused of ignoring them. The only question is whether Boris Johnson sticks around long enough to ask for moral feedback from the ballot box.
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Old 22-06-22, 10:21   #34
 
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Inside Glitzy Tory Summer Party Where Donors Bid £120k For Dinner With Boris Johnson

Super-rich donors paid thousands to attend the lavish Tory Summer Party, held at London's V&A museum, where they rubbed shoulders with Cabinet ministers, party chiefs and the PM

BBC News 22 JUN 2022.






Boris Johnson auctioned off a cosy dinner with himself, Theresa May and David Cameron for £120,000 as he begged Tory donors to fill his election war chest.





Ring of Tory donors 'line pals up' for knighthoods and honours in "Gong-Go-Round"


Super-rich donors paid thousands to attend the lavish Tory Summer Party, held at London's V&A museum, where they rubbed shoulders with Cabinet ministers, party chiefs and the PM.



Cabinet members in attendance at the bash included Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Welfare Secretary Therese Coffey and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Millionaire property mogul Nick Candy and his wife, former Neighbours star Holly Vallance, also attended.


Russian-born Tory donor given 'Knighthood' by San Marino in London ceremony



Tory donor Lubov Chernukhin


Lubov Chernukhin, the biggest female political donor in British history, also attended the posh do.


In auctions at previous events, Ms Chernukhin has won tennis matches with Mr Johnson and Mr Cameron, a "girls' night out" with Mrs May and Ms Truss and a private dinner with then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in the Churchill War Rooms.

Prices ranged from £12,500 for a "standard" table, up to £20,000 to sit next to a Cabinet minister.


Labour party chair Anneliese Dodds told the Mirror: " The cash for access culture created by Boris Johnson raises serious questions about who is really pulling the strings in the Conservative Party."









Nick Candy and Holly Vallance arriving at the fundraiser



The party fund-raising event began with a drinks bash in the museum's courtyard for 250 assorted Government ministers, wealthy donors and Tory advisors.

Tory insiders at the event said Mr Johnson, who had a minor operation on his sinuses earlier in the day under general anaesthetic, gave a "short and funny" address to donors, followed by speeches by Cabinet minister Michael Gove and co-party chairman Ben Elliott.


The PM's spokesman said his operation had not required his doctors to sign off his attendance at the event.



He added: "My understanding is that he was there for a relatively brief period of time".

But he was later spotted, along with much of the Cabinet, at Rupert Murdoch's summer party at the Serpentine Gallery.

Guests at the V&A were treated to an online auction as they were served a starter of salmon tartare followed by beef with asparagus mash, with passionfruit meringues for dessert.

Other items in the auction included a safari trip which sold for around £65,000, a weekend of shooting in Market Harborough which raised £37,000 and a wine tasting which went for £30,000.







Donors were booed as they arrived


Former Tory Treasurer Howard Lee, raising money for the Tory plan to hold onto 80 marginal seats and win a further 20 at the next election, asked people to “stand up to donate £500”.

Several sat back down quickly when asked them to “stay standing to donate £1,000", according to reports.

A band played ABBA songs at the event. A source told Politico: "It was like a school disco band. There were one or two people making slightly boogie-looking moves but no one was fully committed to dancing".

Tables at the event started from £12,500



Another added: “If there’s one thing the country thinks the Tories do well it’s throwing parties - and ironically this wasn’t much of one."

A third insider told the website: "I've had better Monday nights."

Meanwhile outside the venue, Labour's former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell joined a picket organised by the museum's PCS union branch.

Protesters shouted "shame on you" as donors, party figures and ministers arrived at the exclusive dinner.

One donor arriving at the event told protesters to "get a job!"


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Old 26-06-22, 20:45   #35
 
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Home Secretary Priti Patel Breaks The Law in Yet ANOTHER Asylum Seeker Scandal

The High Court ruled housing refugees in Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, until 2026 was in breach of the Equality Act - the second time the plans have been branded unlawful


Daily Mirror 26 JUN 2022





Another of Priti Patel’s controversial asylum schemes has been ruled illegal – as she waits for a court verdict on her Rwanda plan.


The Home Secretary granted herself a five-year extension to house migrants in dilapidated Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent – where hundreds of migrants sleep 14 to a dorm.

But a judge ruled on Friday that the plan breached the Equality Act, designed to protect people from discrimination.

It was the second time Ms Patel’s plans for Napier were branded unlawful.

Inspectors said Napier is ‘dilapidated'



In June last year transfers there were temporarily halted after the High Court ruled the selection process was unlawful.

Another defeat came in March this year, when she lost a High Court challenge brought by three asylum seekers after she admitted their phones were unlawfully seized under a blanket policy targeting migrants crossing the Channel.

Napier Barracks were initially loaned from the MoD in September 2020 to help with a backlog caused by Covid.





Napier Barracks has been controversial
The Government had used emergency planning laws to use Napier for 12 months




But Mrs Justice Lieven highlighted potential victimisation and harassment, plus tensions with the local community once the scheme was extended to 2026.

Napier has divided opinion. Far-right groups opposing the presence of asylum seekers have protested outside the camp.

Others expressed concern for the welfare of refugees – and the impact on the community.




Tonight campaigners who crowdfunded £40,000 to mount the court challenge against Ms Patel hailed it a victory.

Napier has up to 400 migrants


Organiser Sally Hough, who lives in Folkestone and helps migrants with legal and welfare issues, said: “I am delighted. The judgment vindicates the concerns of local people and camp residents.

“The judge reached the same view we did – that the Home Office shouldn’t have used the barracks long term without properly assessing how it was going to impact the community and vulnerable people at the camp.”

The legal ruling comes as the Government scheme to send asylum seekers to Rwanda faces a High Court challenge – on July 19.



Refuguee charities Care4Calais and Detention Action – along with the Public and Commercial Services Union are seeking permission for a judicial review.

If approved, the review could take place during the same hearing – set to last three days.

The decision to house up to 400 male migrants at Napier caused a storm from day one. In early 2021, some 197 were infected in a Covid outbreak.

Rwanda asylum seekers hostel is making preparations to accept kids from Britain

Last year many were evacuated when a fire – thought to have been started deliberately – broke out.

The Government had used emergency planning laws to use Napier for 12 months.

When that expired, Ms Patel secured use of the base until 2026 via a Special Development Order – which overrides local planning law.


As part of the plan, the Government was obliged to consider any implications under equality law.

After Friday’s ruling, it must make a new submission that satisfies the Equality Act.

Mrs Justice Lieven said: “The development raises very obvious issues, in particular relating to potential victimisation and harassment.

“Large segregated accommodation for male asylum seekers on the edge of town has obvious potential to create tensions within the community.





Inside the empty hostel in Rwanda where Britain wants to send its asylum seekers

UK has given Rwanda entire £120m for asylum plan - and it’s already being spent


“There is a very significant difference between a development which is proposed to continue for two months and one for five years.

“Pressure on services, for example on the local GP, community health and possibly on the police, will be very much greater over a prolonged period. The potential for impact on community relations are wholly different.”

She said she did “not consider there was a proper consideration” of the Government’s duties under the Equality Act.


On Sunday, a court order will be issued which will determine the future of the barracks, which remains in use.

Care4Calais founder Clare Moseley said: “Once again Priti Patel has shown her lack of regard for the law and dignity of refugees.”


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Old 28-06-22, 09:27   #36
 
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Fresh court Delays as UK Barristers Walk Out on First Day of Strike Action

UK Doctors Demand Pay Rise of Up To 30% Over Five Years

BMA members’ call for reversal of real-terms cuts over last 14 years increases chances of strike action


The Guardian UK 28 JUN 2022





Barristers in England and Wales have begun strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions.



Some crown courts across the two nations are running limited services, with criminal trials and other cases postponed or rescheduled from Monday, the first day of a walkout by thousands of lawyers.

Barristers on picket lines accused the government of not listening to their concerns about the criminal justice system, and are angry that a proposed pay rise of 15% would not kick in immediately or apply to backlogged cases.


UK Doctors Demand Pay Rise


Doctors have thrown down the gauntlet to the government by calling for a pay rise of up to 30% over the next five years, in a move that increases the chances of strike action.


Delegates at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual conference voted to press ministers to agree to the increase to make up for real-terms cuts to their salaries over the last 14 years.

Some doctors who supported the motion cited striking rail workers as an inspiration for how groups of workers should pursue pay claims with Boris Johnson’s administration.

Last week members of the RMT union staged three stoppages, while teaching unions threatened strike action if their pay was not increased by more than inflation.

Frontline doctors said years of pay freezes and annual salary uplifts of 1% had caused the real value of their take-home pay to fall by almost a third since 2008. They now want “full pay restoration” to return the value of their pay to 2008 levels, and have instructed the BMA to pursue that goal with a government that has made clear it will not hand public sector workers sizeable salary increases in case it fuels already rampant inflation.

The motion noted “with horror that all doctors’ pay has fallen against RPI [the retail prices index] since 2008 to the tune of up to 30%”. It said the BMA’s leadership should “achieve pay restoration to 2008 for its members within the next five years” and report back annually on progress.

Proposing the motion, Dr Emma Runswick, a member of the BMA’s ruling council, said: “We should not wait for things to get worse. All of us deserve comfort and pleasure in our lives. Pay restoration is the right, just and moral thing to do. But it is a significant demand and it won’t be easy to win. Every part of the BMA needs to plan for how to achieve this.”

She added: “I’m not foolish, I know that’s it’s likely to be that industrial action will be required to move the government on this issue … Do not be tempted to accept a pathetic future for our profession. We are worth more.”

The BMA’s decision represents a major escalation of the growing determination among health unions to secure substantially bigger salaries for NHS staff, to help them cope with inflation running at 9.1%. All are pressing for a pay rise that at least equals inflation, though the Royal College of Nursing is seeking a rise of 5% above that.

Junior doctors – all those below consultant level – are closely involved in the drive for restoration of lost earnings. In a speech supporting the motion, Joanna Sutton-Klein, a trainee A&E doctor, told the conference:


“Some people might think that the demand of over 30% pay restoration is too high, they might think it is outrageous. But I’ll tell you what is outrageous. It is outrageous that our pay has been cut by 30%. It is outrageous that doctors today are unable to afford mortgages, and are delaying starting families due to our falling pay. It is outrageous that our pay has been cut. It is sensible that we demand it back.”

She said a 30% uplift was possible. “Last month binmen in Manchester won a 22% pay rise. Two weeks ago Gatwick airport workers won a 21% pay increase. And in March cleaners and porters at Croydon hospital won a 24% pay rise,” Sutton-Klein said, noting that those workers’ ability “to collectively negotiate and collectively withdraw labour” had proved instrumental to their successes.

The depth of feeling among doctors about their pay was evident at the conference in Brighton. One delegate, Anna Athow from London, called the motion “a sellout” because, she claimed, it meant doctors had “to sit on their hands” doing nothing for five years. Others also said the 30% restoration should be achieved much sooner, with one saying it should happen within six months.

Another speaker, Dr Kevin O’Kane, a consultant, told the gathering: “This is our time of maximum power. Don’t waste it with a five-year flaccid fudge. We need real action this side of the general election.”

Two independent groups of experts that advise the government on NHS pay – the NHS pay review body and the review body on doctors’ and dentists’ remuneration – will soon give their recommendations for what frontline personnel should receive in 2022-23.

The pay review body is expected to recommend that NHS personnel (not including doctors and dentists) should get an increase this year of somewhere between 4% and 5% – above the 3% that ministers have set as a firm maximum, but well below that demanded by health unions.

Dr Vishal Sharma, the chair of the BMA’s consultants committee, who is one of four contenders to become the union’s new leader on Wednesday, said he understood the calls for full pay restoration. “Doctors’ pay has been unjustifiably cut, with their take-home pay falling by almost a third since 2008. It’s clear that our members will no longer tolerate the government’s woeful failure to reverse these cuts.”


A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our NHS staff and we recognise the pressures caused by the rising cost of living. NHS staff received a 3% pay rise last year, despite a public sector pay freeze, and in 2019 the government and the BMA agreed to a multi-year pay deal for doctors in training, which guaranteed an 8.2% rise in pay over four years.


“We are giving NHS workers another pay rise this year – no decisions have been made and we will carefully consider the recommendations from the independent pay review bodies.”


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Old 05-07-22, 10:44   #37
 
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Boris Johnson Under Pressure as Tory MP is Accused of Groping Two Men

Boris Johnson Was Made Aware of Formal Chris Pincher Complaint

BBC News 5 JUL 2022.






Boris Johnson was made aware of a formal complaint about Chris Pincher's "inappropriate behaviour" while Mr Pincher was a Foreign Office minister from 2019-20.

Boris Johnson's Deputy Chief whip Chris Pincher has resigned from government over an allegation of groping.

Mr Pincher said he had "embarrassed" himself after "drinking too much" and apologised to the Prime Minister and "those concerned".

The complaint led to a disciplinary process which confirmed his misconduct.




BBC News understands the PM and the foreign secretary at the time - Dominic Raab - were told about the complaint.

The claim raises fresh questions about what the PM knew before making Mr Pincher deputy chief whip in February.

For days ministers have insisted Mr Johnson was not aware of specific allegations against Mr Pincher when he was appointed deputy chief whip - whose job it is to uphold discipline among fellow Tory MPs.


Mr Pincher, the MP for Tamworth, was suspended as a Conservative Party MP last week over allegations he groped two men at a private members' club in London. He says he is seeking professional medical support and has no intention of resigning as an MP.


In the latest statement addressing what Mr Johnson knew, Downing Street said the prime minister was aware of media reports and some allegations about Mr Pincher's misconduct that were "either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint".

He added: "It was in one way concluded in some form. These issues tend to be anonymous."

Mr Pincher apologised after the disciplinary process concluded, BBC News has been told, but the MP has not responded to our request for comment.

The message from No 10 has developed since last Thursday when Mr Pincher first resigned. Since then, Mr Pincher has faced a number of historical claims, which he denies.

On Sunday and Monday morning, ministers continued to stress that Boris Johnson was not aware of specific allegations when he gave Mr Pincher his most recent government job.

But later on Monday, Downing Street conceded the prime minister was previously aware of "reports and speculation", but nothing firmer than that.

The BBC has been told a formal complaint was made against Mr Pincher while he was serving as a Foreign Office minister from July 2019 to February 2020.

An official complaint was raised about Mr Pincher for "inappropriate behaviour" and it triggered a process, overseen by the Cabinet Office, which resulted in a report that confirmed misconduct.



Both the prime minister and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary at the time, were made aware of the disciplinary process, the BBC has been told.

Mr Raab's team have been approached for comment, and the Foreign Office said: "We have robust measures in place to respond to any allegations of inappropriate behaviour. It's our long-standing policy not to comment on individual cases."

On Monday evening, No 10 reiterated that the prime minister was not aware of any "specific allegations" being looked at, and that in the "absence of a formal complaint it would not be appropriate to stop the appointment".

Mr Johnson's allies have defended his handling of the situation, with Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg telling BBC Two's Newsnight: "There's always a lot of gossip going on in politics, there's gossip about all sorts of politicians, an awful lot of which is untrue.

"You can't hire and fire on the basis of rumour... There are rumours about so many people in politics in all parties."


But opposition MPs have been critical, with the Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper saying: "I think what we've seen time and time again with Boris Johnson is that he's just prepared to carpet over things and try and hope they go away until they become a real problem."

The prime minister's official spokesman has previously said that before Mr Pincher was appointed a deputy chief whip, advice was sought from the government's propriety and ethics team, part of the Cabinet Office, who did not advise against the move.


The spokesman declined to comment on a claim by the PM's former chief aide Dominic Cummings that Mr Johnson had referred to the MP as "Pincher by name, pincher by nature".


"I'm simply not going to comment on content of what was or wasn't said in private conversations," the spokesman said.


More New allegations emerge against Chris Pincher










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Old 05-07-22, 18:56   #38
 
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No 10 Under Scrutiny After Extraordinary Letter From Former Top Civil Servant

Guardian News 5 JUL 2022.


Downing Street has been forced to deny misleading journalists about Boris Johnson's knowledge of the allegations surrounding Chris Pincher after the former Foreign Office permanent secretary Simon McDonald published an extraordinary letter alleging No 10's version of events was untrue.

Responding to an urgent question from the deputy Labour leader, Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis conceded the prime minister had been informed about an internal investigation that upheld a complaint about Pincher’s behaviour in 2019.

Boris Johnson ‘did not immediately recall’ being briefed about Chris Pincher






Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid Resign From The Cabinet

Guardian News






Rishi Sunak has quit as Chancellor and Sajid Javid has resigned as health secretary as Boris Johnson's leadership faced a fresh crisis following the Chris Pincher scandal.


Mr Sunak said "the public rightly expect government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously", adding "I believe these standards are worth fighting for and that is why I am resigning."

In an incendiary letter, Mr Javid said the British people "expect integrity from their government" but voters now believed Mr Johnson's administration was neither competent nor "acting in the national interest". Mr Johnson had tonight admitted "it was a mistake" to give Mr Pincher his job as deputy chief whip and said:

"I apologise for it". Mr Sunak and Mr Javid's resignations come after Downing Street was accused of lying over the Chris Pincher scandal this morning, as Lord McDonald said Mr Johnson was briefed "in person" about concerns relating to the then Foreign Office minister.


The publication of the letter appeared to wrong foot Dominic Raab as he conducted interviews.

Later Downing Street suggested Mr Johnson forgot he had been briefed, with Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis telling the Commons Mr Johnson was "made aware" in "late 2019" and "did not immediately recall" it.

These are the ministers wheeled out to respond to the scandal and what they said. If you are struggling to keep up, read how No 10's story has changed over the Chris Pincher scandal.



Meltdown For Johnson’s Government - Will The PM Survive Resignations?


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Old 06-07-22, 05:53   #39
 
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Exclusive: Quarter of Parliamentary Staff Say They’ve Witnessed Both MEN and WOMEN Being Sexually Harassed

6 Jul 2022 Channel 4 News






Allegations of impropriety and what the prime minister knew, have called his future into question with those bombshell resignations of both the chancellor and health secretary.



Channel 4 News has been looking into the culture of harassment and impunity and tonight we have an exclusive investigation that shows how widespread the problems are across the political spectrum.

Half of the 51 parliamentary workers we spoke to said a victim of sexual harrassment had confided in them - and a quarter said they'd seen it happen themselves.

70% said they felt that if they reported inappropriate behaviour their careers would be harmed - and today parliamentary authorities admitted to us that there are barriers to speaking up.






Prime Minister Under Pressure After Bombshell REVOLTS

Johnson Names New Top Team as Sunak and Javid Quit

Boris Johnson fights for political survival as he prepares to face MPs


BBC News 5 Jul 2022






He is scrambling to shore up his support, but insists he will carry on. Boris Johnson is battling to save his premiership after two of his most senior Cabinet ministers resigned within 10 minutes of each other.



First Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, and then Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, published letters on their Twitter accounts explaining why they could not remain in their posts.


Mr Johnson scrambled to fill the gaps on the front bench even as further resignations from government positions were announced.


Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, was named as the new Chancellor. It is understood he and Mr Johnson agreed on the need for tax cuts to secure growth in their one-on-one meeting on Tuesday night.


Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, will replace Mr Zahawi as Education Secretary, while Steve Barclay, the Downing Street chief of staff, was appointed to replace Mr Javid as Health Secretary. Mr Johnson takes to the despatch box for Prime Minister's questions at midday and will answer questions from the liaison committee of MPs at 3pm.

The resignations began just two minutes after broadcasters began playing a clip filmed for the 6pm news where Mr Johnson finally said sorry over his handling of the Chris Pincher scandal. This was after yet another calamitous day that began with his deputy, Dominic Raab, being hung out to dry by No 10 in both the media and the Commons.

Knocked senseless by the resignations, Nick Gutteridge and Tony Diver recount the events which left the Prime Minister staggering about like Rocky in his final fight. Tim Stanley sketches the dramatic day of revelations which ended with the Prime Minister watching a metaphorical lifeboat pushing away from the ship,


Mr Sunak and Mr Javid at the oars, others to follow. Daniel Capurro reveals how history shows that the bond between No 10 and No 11 can make or break any government.

Sunak and Javid Think They Can Avoid Heseltine's Fate


By resigning within minutes of each other, Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak jointly wielded the knife, and they no doubt hope that in doing so one of them will get to wear the crown.



The hesitancy of Cabinet ministers to lead the charge against Boris Johnson in recent months has been put down to the belief that direct challengers never get the top job. Lord Heseltine's humiliation after he forced out Margaret Thatcher cast a long shadow over the Conservative Party.

But if Mr Johnson is, ultimately, toppled as a result of Tuesday's events, it will be impossible to pinpoint whether it was Mr Javid, who quit first, or Mr Sunak, the senior man, who started the landslide. Gordon Rayner analyses how the pair will now believe they can avoid Lord Heseltine's fate.



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Old 06-07-22, 17:04   #40
 
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Boris Johnson Takes Questions From Liaison Committee on Integrity in Politics – LIVE

MP Tells Boris Johnson at Liaison Committee The Game is UP

Boris Johnson Pressed on Meeting With Ex-KGB Agent Alexander Lebedev While Foreign Secretary


The Guardian UK 6 JUL 2022







Prime minister is questioned by Commons liaison committee about integrity in politics, war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis and on meeting with ex-KGB agent Alexander Lebedev while foreign secretary







'Enough is Enough' Says Former Health Secretary Sajid Javid












Chancellor Rishi Sunak RESIGNS





Boris Johnson Pressed on Meeting With Ex-KGB Agent Alexander Lebedev While Foreign Secretary
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Old 07-07-22, 03:43   #41
 
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Boris Johnson on The Brink as Dozens of His Ministers Resign

Many Believe The British Prime Minister Cannot Remain in Office And Will be Forced OUT Within Days.


BBC News 6 Jul 2022






Boris Johnson is clinging to power and vowing to fight on, after the resignation of dozens of members of his government.



The latest crisis began with the resignation of Mr Johnson’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid. Since then more than 40 other ministers have resigned, with many of them calling on Mr Johnson to step down immediately or be forced from office.

It follows a series of scandals, with accusations that Mr Johnson lacks honesty and integrity and has repeatedly lied to his party and the country.

Recently more than 40% of his Conservative MPs declared that they had no confidence in Boris Johnson's leadership.





Even Larry the Cat refuses to enter 10 Downing Street as Boris Johnson Cabinet resignation pile up.........

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Old 07-07-22, 10:14   #42
 
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Johnson to Resign as Tory Leader

Tory MPs Want Reassurances Johnson Will Really be Caretaker PM

Boris Johnson is to resign as Conservative leader today, but remain as PM until autumn, following further ministerial resignations this morning
.

BBC News 7 JUL 2022.






Thoughts are turning to the leadership race in Conservative circles.


"We will rattle through the process," one MP predicts - probably two votes a day at Westminster to whittle the candidates down to the final two, who will then go to a vote of the members after a summer campaign.


But that initial process is likely to be intensely fought.



So far, Suella Braverman, the attorney-general, is the only person to definitively throw her hat in the ring. Others, including Steve Baker, have heavily hinted they will stand.

A Conservative leadership contest will take place this summer and a new prime minister will be in place in time for the party conference in October.

In the meantime, Mr Johnson will continue as prime minister.



He had vowed to "keep going" following a wave of resignations from the government over his leadership but has now decided to step down.

Senior members of his cabinet, including chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, urged him to resign and "leave with dignity".

Mr Johnson is expected to give a resignation statement outside No 10 Downing Street later.



Mr Johnson became prime minister in July 2019 after winning a Tory leadership contest, and went on to win an historic landslide general election victory five months after that.

He won the election vowing to "get Brexit done" but his government has been dogged by a series of controversies in recent months, not least a police investigation into parties in Downing Street during lockdown.

The revolt this week was triggered by revelations about the prime minister's handling of sexual misconduct allegations against former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher.

BBC political editor Chris Mason said Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, has met the prime minister to tell him he has lost the confidence of the party.


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Old 07-07-22, 11:52   #43
 
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Boris Johnson Resignation Speech in Full | 10 Downing Street


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Old 08-07-22, 03:38   #44
 
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Boris Johnson: Downfall of a Prime Minister


'Rishi Sunak was not a successful chancellor,' says Jacob-Rees Mogg

Sky News


As Boris Johnson offers his resignation as prime minister, Sky News's Dermot Murnaghan presents this special programme on the downfall of a prime minister.





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Old 08-07-22, 11:27   #45
 
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Boris Johnson's Chequers Wedding Party Plan Branded Crass After Months of Scandal

Boris Johnson's allies say that devotion to duty is why he wants to stay on at No10 until a new Conservative leader is elected - but sources say he wants to hold a lavish wedding bash at Chequers


Carefree EX PM Theresa May Dances to Craig David on Day Boris Johnson Finally Ousted as PM


BBC News 8 JUL 2022.






Boris Johnson wants to stay at the helm as caretaker Tory leader... partly to hold a lavish wedding bash at Chequers, sources claim.

He and wife Carrie have planned a party at the grace-and-favour home on 30 July, a year on from their nuptials. A Tory source said: “It beggars belief.”




The PM announced his resignation but intends to stay until a successor is elected. It may take months.

His allies say that devotion to duty is why he wants to stay on at No10 until a new Conservative leader is elected.

But Tory insiders say one of the reasons is so he can stage one more party at Chequers while he still can.

The sources say the Prime Minister and his wife Carrie intend to throw a big wedding bash there this month.




Carrie Johnson and baby Romy, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Scotland Secretary Alister Jack look on as Boris Johnson addresses the nation to announce his resignation

One Tory insider told the Mirror: “It beggars belief that even after all the criticism Johnson has faced regarding integrity and probity, one of the reasons he is staying is to have his wedding party at Chequers.



“It’s a national asset not his personal home. The Johnsons should do the decent thing and find a different venue.

“And Boris should do the decent thing and leave No10 immediately”. A second source said: “It’s crass if it goes ahead.” Mr Johnson finally announced his resignation yesterday.

It came after he desperately tried to cling to power in the face of a massive Tory rebellion.

He was forced to the brink after months of scandal and lies that began with Partygate and concluded with the Chris Pincher sex pest row.

But in an unapologetic statement outside No10, the shameless PM fired a bitter broadside at the Tory Party’s “eccentric” decision to force him out.





Boris Johnson hugs his son Wilfred as he arrives back into No10 after delivering his statement


With Carrie and baby Romy among the crowd, Mr Johnson said: “It is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.

“At Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves. I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them’s the breaks.”

Tory leadership candidates were last night jostling for position as MPs from right across the party to become the next inhabitant of No10.

Nominations are likely to kick off next week with defence secretary Ben Wallace and ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak among the favourites to take over.

Mr Johnson prompted a huge backlash from Tory grandees when he confirmed his intention to remain in office until a successor is elected.


In an astonishing move, he assembled a new-look Cabinet to replace the ministers who quit or were sacked since the political bloodbath began on Tuesday.

He told them the caretaker Government would not seek to implement new policies or make major changes of direction - with tax cuts left for the next PM.









Boris Johnson poses with his wife Carrie Johnson in the garden of 10 Downing Street following their wedding at Westminster Cathedral in May last year






Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab



Carefree EX PM Theresa May Dances to Craig David on Day Boris Johnson Finally Ousted as PM

The former PM looked glamorous in a red dress with a statement jewelled necklace while watching Craig David perform at Henley Festival - showcasing her signature move







In what has become her signature move, May was seen robotically swinging her arms from side to side as she took in the star's performance.

The 65-year-old was joined by her husband, Philip, 64, and appeared carefree and a world away from the political fall out at No10.



It comes three years after May herself resigned as PM under pressure from Johnson - who was waiting in the wings to take over - and Leave-backing Tory MPs as she struggled to get her Brexit deal through the House of Commons.

After her announcement in July 2019 that she would be quitting, May once again displayed her abilities to bop as she danced to Abba hits at the famous Oxfordshire festival.

Then, May and husband Philip bopped to a cover of Van Halen's 1983 hit Jump in the grandstand - where one-evening tickets cost up to £135.

She was also spotted elsewhere at the festival throwing shapes to Dancing Queen - which famously soundtracked her walk on stage at the 2018 Tory conference.

The Henley Festival bills itself as an "exclusive boutique black tie festival" where "art and gastronomy share equal billing with music".




Meanwhile her successor grappled with a collapse of his Cabinet before earlier announcing his resignation.



The desperate Prime Minister finally caved to pressure from his own MPs to quit as all but his most loyal allies abandoned him.

In a statement outside No10, Mr Johnson told the nation he would leave his post after just shy of three years in Downing Street, adding: "I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them's the breaks.''

But he was unrepentant in the seven-minute speech, saying his attempts to stay in power had been rejected by "herd instinct".




In what has become her signature move, May was seen robotically swinging her arms from side to side as she took in the star's performance





Chequers 16th century mansion, is the country retreat of the Prime Minister
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Old 08-07-22, 14:59   #46
 
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Movies re: NEW UK PM: Presenter Faints on Air During Debate

The Queens' Role in Appointing a New PM

ITV News 8 Jul 2022

Chris and Lizzie discuss Boris Johnson's phone calls with the Queen ahead of his resignation, and what the Monarch’s role is at such a turbulent political time.







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Old 27-07-22, 05:44   #47
 
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Movies Re: NEW UK PM: Presenter Faints on Air During Debate

U.K. Prime Minister Debate Abruptly Ends After Presenter Faints On Air

TalkTV show goes off air after Kate McCann’s collapse, cutting short a bitter clash over NHS and tax cuts


The Guardian UK 27 JUL 2022






TV debate between Truss and Sunak cancelled after presenter faints



The second TV debate between the Conservative leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak was halted dramatically after the presenter Kate McCann fainted, cutting short a bitter clash over funding for the NHS and tax cuts.

The event, hosted by TalkTV, had the Tory leadership hopefuls quizzed by one audience member with cancer, who said he had not received proper support from the health service and asked: “Why is the NHS broken?”

The pair talked up plans including cutting the number of NHS managers and rolling out new technology. Truss argued too much of the health service’s infrastructure was crumbling, saying a hospital in her Norfolk constituency was “being held up by stilts”.

But the scheduled hour-long debate was halted just under halfway through after McCann fainted off-camera while Truss was talking.



Viewers heard a loud crash, with Truss looking shocked and holding her hands to her face. She began walking towards where McCann had been standing before the video feed was cut. The debate did not resume.

The station said later that McCann, its political editor, “fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate”.

Truss, who polling suggests is ahead of Sunak in the vote of Conservative party members to find a replacement for Boris Johnson, repeated her attacks on Sunak’s decision to increase national insurance to finance Covid catch-up for the NHS and social care, one of the biggest dividing lines between the pair.

“What has happened is that the tax has been raised on families through national insurance so that they are having to pay more money to the Treasury,” Truss said in answering an audience member’s question about the cost of living.

“I do think it is morally wrong at this moment when families are struggling to pay for food that we have put up taxes on ordinary people when we said we wouldn’t in our manifesto and when we didn’t need to do so.”

Sunak responded by again castigating Truss’s proposal to delay paying back some debts accrued during Covid, which she argues would allow the same increase in NHS and social care spending without raising taxes.

“What’s morally wrong is asking our children and grandchildren to pick up the tab for the bills that we are not prepared to meet,” the former chancellor said.

In choosing to increase national insurance to pay for the NHS, Sunak said, he had made a “brave decision to get it the support it needed”.

He said: “It wasn’t an easy thing for me to do, I got a lot of criticism for it, but I believe it was the right thing to do because I don’t think we can have an NHS which is ultimately the country’s number one public service priority that is underfunded and not able to deliver the care it needs.”

Truss, who said she had opposed the tax rise in cabinet, said the NHS could save money with less “directing and micromanaging people on the frontline”.


Questioned by an audience member from Birmingham, John Hughes, who said he was reliant on help from a charity to support him with cancer, Truss said:


“What I want to see is fewer layers of management in the National Health Service and less central direction, because I simply don’t think that people can sit there in Whitehall and direct everything that happens in local communities across our country.”





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