We have now had both the conclusion of the Metropolitan police investigation and the publication of the Sue Gray report into events in Downing Street in 2020.
A single fixed penalty fine was issued to the Prime Minister. Sir Stephen House, the Metropolitan police’s acting chief has said that there was no clear evidence that Boris Johnson had breached Covid 19 rules many times in Downing Street as had been alleged.
There was little in the Sue Gray report that was new and nothing, in my view, that showed the Prime Minister had personally broken the Covid 19 rules.
There has clearly been, however, a culture in Downing Street and the Cabinet office where the strict rules applied to the rest of the population have been interpreted with much greater laxity. This has created dismay and anger among a large part of the British public, especially those who made considerable personal sacrifices during the pandemic. Having been unable to see my own elderly parents for almost 18 months and spending one Christmas alone in isolation, I can fully understand their feelings.
I do not believe, however, that all this makes the case for the removal of the Prime Minister with all the attendant disruption of government, especially at a time of such international importance, economically and militarily, where Britain’s voice needs to be heard.
The Committee on Standards will now investigate the outstanding issue of whether the Prime Minister deliberately misled the House of Commons. It is now up to the Committee to consider the evidence and bring this matter, finally, to a close.