Johnson’s ‘dishonest’ excuses over Partygate fine an insult to public, says Starmer – UK politics live, as it happened - The Guardian

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The first came in December, after ITV released a video of Allegra Stratton, his then press secretary, joking with colleagues about a No 10 party that Johnson had said did not take place.
He was following what in the New Labour era was called a “masochism strategy” (when Tony Blair decided just to suck up criticism of the Iraq war).
13:45 Boris Johnson has just finished.
He briefly managed to sound apologetic, but within minutes he had reverted to party politics (and dishonesty), smearing Keir Starmer by suggesting that he had stopped the CPS prosecuting Jimmy Savile.
Several of the PM’s Tory colleagues (with a naive understanding of what is helpful) sought to minimise the seriousness of Partygate (Bill Cash was the worst offender – see 5.

Johnson’s ‘dishonest’ excuses over Partygate fine an insult to public, says Starmer – UK politics live, as it happened - The Guardian

13:45 Boris Johnson has just finished. He has delivered multiple apologies now over Partygate, but this is probably the third major one he has had to do in the House of Commons. And it is a marked improvement on the other two. The first came in December, after ITV released a video of Allegra Stratton, his then press secretary, joking with colleagues about a No 10 party that Johnson had said did not take place. Johnson claimed that he was “furious”, but badly failed the sincerity test. In January Johnson again apologised, after the publication of Sue Gray’s “update” cataloguing the extent of wrongdoing in No 10. He briefly managed to sound apologetic, but within minutes he had reverted to party politics (and dishonesty), smearing Keir Starmer by suggesting that he had stopped the CPS prosecuting Jimmy Savile. Today Johnson managed to maintain his contrite composure all afternoon. He was following what in the New Labour era was called a “masochism strategy” (when Tony Blair decided just to suck up criticism of the Iraq war). Several of the PM’s Tory colleagues (with a naive understanding of what is helpful) sought to minimise the seriousness of Partygate (Bill Cash was the worst offender – see 5.27pm), but Johnson kept refusing to take their bait. He wasn’t seeking to make light of what happened, he insisted. Presentationally, it was an improvement, and a large cohort of Tory MPs still seem to support him – at least for now. But, by and large, those defending him are not people who would be seen as members of the Conservative party’s A team, and the contributions that will be remembered will be those criticising him – particularly from Starmer (who was outstanding). Today might not have been fatal to Johnson, but it has been profoundly humbling. That is all from me for today. My colleague Jenn Selby is now taking over.
The Original Article can be found on The Guardian

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