The offending video showed an apparently cavalier attitude being taken to the Tier 3 restrictions to which London was subject last December. Restrictions which most of the population did their best to obey, even as it meant not bring able to meet friends and family, or even to attend the funerals of dead relatives. She had little choice.
But what stuck in the craw was that Ms Stratton had been thrown under the bus, and Bozo had not. No matter that she was pals with the third Mrs Johnson, part of the London media elite and with the connections that ensure she will not be without work for long, she had to take the rap. Bozo doesn’t do such things. Despite his constant lying.
After all, her departure had followed a barely believable statement given by the PM at the start of a PMQs appearance which, as was soon apparent, was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage. He asserted that there had been no party, that he was in any case not involved, but had been repeatedly reassured that no party took place. It was someone else’s fault. He would be jolly cross when he found out.
But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one problem with this approach - it was bollocks. It was made so the moment Ms Stratton emerged from the bijou maison she shares with partner James Forsyth, political editor of the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine. Had Bozo’s claim of their not having been a party been credible, she wouldn’t have had to resign for making light of it. Not unless it actually happened.
There would be little point in resigning over something that was just a rehearsal for how the Number 10 spinners would react to questions in case a party was later found to have taken place. So if she, and indeed the rest of Bozo’s crew, were discussing it in that video, and that is now a resigning matter, it happened. So Bozo lied to the Commons. Again.
As Laura Hughes told, it got worse. “One Number 10 official who attended the party on December 18 tells the FT: ‘It was huge, there must have been 40 to 50 people. It was really bad. There was cheese and wine ordered in by Number 10 staff. There was music’ … The official said they had also been present during a leaving party in Downing Street for former aide Cleo Watson on November 27, in which Johnson had given a speech”.
Anyone else confirm that? Richard Lloyd could: “A very reliable source tells me that an acquaintance of theirs was at the No 10 party on the 18th, and there were exactly 44 people there, including Simon Case, who will be investigating whether it happened at all”. As for Ms Stratton, Catherine Philp of the Murdoch Times asked “Instead of resigning, perhaps Allegra Stratton could just tell us all the truth about the party?”
Especially after she heard Bozo’s empty words: as Jim Pickard of the FT reported, “Boris Johnson tells the press conference that it is ‘a sad day for Allegra Stratton’”. Maybe it’s time for it to be an even sadder day for Bozo. That departure will be worth a party.
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