Partygate: scathing verdict against Johnson
Boris Johnson deliberately misled the British parliament and held it in contempt as an institution on several occasions — this was the verdict in the report by the House of Commons Privileges Committee tasked with investigating the Partygate affair. It recommended Johnson’s temporary suspension from parliament, a move the former PM pre-empted by resigning last week. The British press is divided in its assessment of the report.
Thank goodness he’s gone
The ex-prime minister has squandered all trust in him, The Times says:
“He denies anything and everything, always, no matter how heavy the weight of evidence. Even if there is television footage of him saying the opposite, he’ll shake that mop of blond hair and declare black to be white or white to be black. ... In the end, those who said he could not change, that character is destiny, were right. Those of us who hoped that the responsibility of the highest office would prompt him to grow up, were wrong. Now he is gone from parliament, thank goodness. There will be successful books and amusing scribblings aplenty. But his prime ministerial career is history.”
Toxic revenge culture in parliament
Johnson has fallen prey to a witch hunt, The Daily Telegraph counters:
“There is not a shred of evidence proving that he knowingly misled MPs. So making him the first prime minister in history to be denied a pass to enter Parliament will look to many like a deranged overreaction. The use of legal technicalities to destroy political opponents is, overall, a deplorable trend. ... Politics in general seems to be stuck in a cycle of reprisals, with MPs blowing poison darts at each other. ... Both parties might reflect on whether it might be time to lift the focus away from each other, and back to the constituents they’re supposed to represent.”