Boris Johnson asks for forgiveness

EIt wasn’t his first “sorry” and this time it went like this: “I apologize for the things we just didn’t do right and also for the way the matter was handled.” Boris Johnson said again on Monday in the House of Commons that he could understand the anger at the Downing Street parties. Because there are now lessons to be learned from the investigation report, he will redesign the organizational structure in the government. “I get it and I’ll fix it,” he said, adding, “Yes, we can be trusted.”

Shortly before that, the long-awaited report from the Cabinet Office had been published. He notes a “failure of leadership and judgment” at Downing Street. A number of gatherings over the past two years “should not have taken place or developed in the way that did happen,” wrote investigator Sue Gray, but refrained from making explicit reference to legal violations. Also, no responsible persons were named. She nevertheless stated that the behavior of those involved was “difficult to justify” and criticized the “excessive consumption of alcohol” in the workplace. All of this does not meet the standards of the Civil Service, nor those that the public applies to it.

Johnson presents himself as busy

Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, called Johnson a “man without shame”. He has fooled the British public, insulted their intelligence and discredited the many sacrifices made during the pandemic. Now he is hiding behind a police investigation instead of resigning.

Gray only released a stripped-down version of her investigation report after police urged that only “minimal disclosures” be made about the cases she is investigating. These are twelve cases of alleged violations of Corona regulations. Scotland Yard’s intervention was criticized over the weekend. Some, including Libdem chairman Ed Davey, even spoke of a “set game”. Without evidence, it has been speculated that Johnson may have encouraged police to press for a watered-down version of Gray’s report, thereby delaying the release of potentially incriminating facts. The police investigation could drag on for weeks. It is possible that at the end of the day there will be nothing more than the sending of a few fine notices, the recipients of which remain unknown.

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Johnson presented himself on Monday as a prime minister who hardly has time to deal with questionable parties at his official residence. In the morning he had visited Tilbury Docks in Essex, one of the new free ports being built after Brexit. At the same time, he was preparing a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin and a trip to Ukraine. His ministers will present a whole series of new draft laws in the next few days.

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