The name's Dick. Just Dick
And so it came to pass: first, senior Civil Servant Sue Gray would be free to complete her enquiries and present her previously commissioned report. Then she wouldn’t: the “detail” of the parties would have to be omitted or redacted. The thought then entered that this would enable the can to be kicked down the road and allow alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to at least fight another day, if not get off scot free.
Our free and fearless press would be pleased: after all, they had already begun to make excuses for the PM’s serial abuses of his own lockdown rules. But this morning we discovered that the press was not pleased at all. The Murdoch Times leads with “Anger at Met party inquiry … Criticism after intervention delays Gray’s report … Police move offers Johnson potential lifeline”. And the Mail is in thunderous righteousness mode.
“As Boris is finally set to be handed heavily censored Partygate dossier … OUTRAGE AT POLICE OVER No10 PROBE SHAMBLES” is their headline, with Met Commissioner Cressida Dick’s intervention derided as “farcical”. Even the Guardian vented its displeasure, noting “Met sparks fury with bid to cut details from Gray report”.
But Bozo will be in the clear, right? Er, wrong: not while his old berth, the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, is putting the boot into him, he won’t. The paper has demoted the Gray’n’Met saga to front page supporting act, sniffing “Yard contacts party ‘suspects’ after receiving Gray Dossier”. And it has followed this up with confirmation not only that Bozo had a birthday cake, but that whoever said he didn’t was lying.
The headline says it all: “Carrie Johnson offered to bring cake to Boris Johnson’s alleged lockdown-busting birthday party … Prime Minister’s wife asked official to organise gathering in Downing Street for her husband’s 56th birthday”. There is more.
“The Telegraph can disclose that officials involved in the ‘partygate’ investigation are looking into an exchange between Mrs Johnson and at least one other senior member of staff ahead of the gathering in June 2020 … It is understood that in the exchange, Mrs Johnson asked the official to get staff together to celebrate Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday, while also confirming that she would personally organise a cake for him”.
You're going to need a bigger bucket
And here comes the pièce de résistance: “A spokesman for Mrs Johnson refused to comment when approached on Friday, but did not deny the exchange took place … The disclosure appears to undermine Downing Street’s previous denial that Mrs Johnson organised the gathering, which was reportedly attended by up to 30 people”. Do go on.
“Downing Street refused to repeat Mr Johnson’s denial that he had been presented with a cake at the gathering. While Mr Johnson is understood to have told … there was no cake, reports … appeared to confirm that Mr Johnson was presented with a Union flag cake”. The Met can’t stop the press leaking. So can they save Bozo? Don’t bet on it.
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