It would have been great to be able to say that the result of today’s questioning of Boris Johnson by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee today was unpredictable, but sadly it all went exactly as expected.
Boris still insists that everything dodgy that happened in Downing Street during the Covid lock-downs (causing over 100 fixed penalty notices for breaches of Covid regulations to be served by police on No 10 staff, including himself and the current PM) was completely acceptable and met all the guidelines, because of two oft-repeated reasons.
One, all the rules and guidelines at the time stated clearly that social distancing should be followed at work ‘wherever possible’ and in Downing Street due to the age of the building and general working practices it was not possible, therefore didn’t always happen but that was OK, so he was quite right to say to Parliament that all rules and guidance had been followed.
And two, non-socially-distant farewell drinks for staff leaving their posts were absolutely permissible larger group events as (according to Boris) they came under the the remit of a ‘necessary work event’, so again he was perfectly correct in reassuring Parliament that all Covid rules and guidance had been followed.
Also, Boris had repeatedly assured Parliament that he himself had been assured repeatedly that all was above board and nothing dodgy had gone on, but when asked exactly who had given this assurance it turned out not to be well-informed lawyers or even senior civil servants as one might expect, but his own personally appointed political aides.
Hmmm…The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks…
Boris certainly came across as rattled, belligerent almost to the point of rudeness to the committee, and was supremely arrogant in his attitude. He still doesn’t understand why he was given a fixed penalty notice in the first place, so he’s sticking to his ‘how-dare-you/ hard-done-by’ story and as far as he’s concerned he’s totally innocent and that’s that…