It’s official. Boris Johnson broke the law. A law he wrote. A law that his government gleefully enforced. One that led to students being fined thousands of pounds. If he had and decency, now would be the time for Boris Johnson to resign. This latest turn of events is an insult to those who died. It’s an insult to those who followed the rules. It shows complete and utter contempt for the British public.
It also exposes the rank hypocrisy at the centre of the most corrupt British government in modern history. He knows it is wrong, he knows he should go and if it was anyone else he’d sack them. Over the last 18 months, Johnson has forced at least three people to resign for this exact same offence. He has also called for the resignation of countless others. Here’s a recap of his greatest hits.
Johnson’s greatest hits – who has resigned for breaking COVID rules?
5th May 2020: Professor Neil Ferguson was one of the key figures in SAGE in the early days of the pandemic. He was also one of the first to go. Why? Because his girlfriend visited him. The police took no action, but political pressure mounted and Professor Ferguson stepped down. According to a No 10 spokesperson, Boris Johnson agreed with his decision to resign.
26th June 2021: Matt Hancock was next, resigning as Health Secretary after being filmed kissing an aide. This was before “intimate contact” with someone from a different household was permitted. Again, there was no police action, but Matt Hancock was forced to step down. Johnson goes even further on this one, claiming later that he sacked him.
8th December 2021: Allegra Stratton came third, resigning as No 10 spokesperson. Not for going to a party, but for joking about the fact that No 10 had repeatedly thrown parties. This, it seems, was still not enough for the Met to investigate. It was, however, enough for her to go. He also claimed he was furious at the footage. I’m sure he was, it must have put him in an awfully tricky position given he had attended half a dozen parties himself.
11th January 2022: Shaun Bailey rounds of the list, having been photographed attending a party during one of the alleged Downing Street parties. Mr Bailey was at the time Chair of the Police and Crime Committee. Apparently, breaking the lockdown laws is not a good look for a person holding the police to account. It seems, that Boris Johnson does not think that applies to him. Perhaps that says a lot about his relationship with the police.
So… will he go?
Probably not. As recently as last week he had still refused to admit that lawbreaking had occurred. This despite the fact that 20 fines had been issued. Today another 30 fines have been issued, including to his Chancellor. At the time of writing there had still been no acknowledgement, apology or acceptance of the consequences.
Despite having repeatedly forced or tacitly supported resignations for breaking lockdown rules, it seems that he is set to dig in. Yet again, Boris Johnson seems to think the leader of the country should be held to lower standards than virtually everyone else.