An uncomfortable watch as Boris bows his head in shame today over Partygate. This is also the first time Boris has said he apologised to the Queen – previously it was only claimed that Downing Street had expressed remorse to Buckingham Palace…
Andrew Cooper’s polling firm Yonder interviewed 2,075 UK adults online between 14th & 16th January 2022 on behalf of Tory-backing advertising entrepreneur Michael Moszynski. The interviews were conducted during the height of outrage this weekend. As you would expect the numbers for Boris were on the floor. The hypothetical leadership of Rishi Sunak, however, did not save the Tory majority either.
Under Rishi, according to this poll, the Tories would lose 104 seats compared to the 2019 result under Boris. While this is merely hypothetical, it’s something for Tory MPs to ponder…
After pool questions about today’s Labour market statistics Rishi made a filmed intervention on Partygate:
“The Prime Minister addressed this last week in Parliament and set out his understanding of the situation, and I’d refer you to his words…of course I [believe him] … I’m not going to get into hypotheticals, the Ministerial Code is clear on these matters, but as you know Sue Gray is conducting an inquiry into this situation, and I think it’s right that we allow her to complete that job.”
The interview ended abruptly after the pool interviewer seemingly exceeded his allotted questions…
Now that the Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court’s ruling on procurement contracts, as brought forward by the Good Law project, Guido would like to remind Jolyon that he is now in debt to the RSPCA – to the sum of £100.
Back in July, when the initial High Court ruling passed, Jolyon challenged Michael Gove to a simple bet: whoever loses the appeal ruling would donate £100 to a charity of the winner’s choice. Never one to be out-foxed, Gove batted back:
The RSPCA? https://t.co/gxxTPdil47— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) July 20, 2021
Time to pay up.
UPDATE: Gove drops a heavy hint on Twitter:
Donate Online Today & Help End Animal Suffering | RSPCA https://t.co/yy2NcWyyYr— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) January 18, 2022
Guido suspects that Jolyon will, entirely in character, wriggle out of the bet on a technicality.
The High Court ruling that a procurement contract was unlawfully awarded to a firm with apparent links to Dominic Cummings has this morning been overturned by the Court of Appeal. This latest defeat for Jolyon once again reiterates the pointlessness of the taxpayer cash-wasting vanity project. Will this latest ruling get the usual wall-to-wall BBC coverage awarded to Jolyon’s rare supposed victories?
The case relates to a contract awarded to Public First at the start of the pandemic. Responding to the announcement Cummings tweets:
“Lord Chief Justice crushes Kimono-fox-killer: total vindication for my decisions on moving super speedy on procurement to save lives (remember all the ignorant nonsense from pundits/minor social scientists/Remainiacs?)”
Here’s what Cummings had to say on the initial judgement back in July:
“Like the OWID decision, another decision I made at the height of the crisis last year was recently the subject of legal action. The High Court found that my decision to hire a company to provide insight into public understanding of covid was ‘unlawful’ because of ‘apparent bias’. Not actual bias, which the court agreed there was no evidence of, but ‘apparent bias’. This ‘apparent bias’ existed, the court said, because there was not a paper trail showing my thought process and the extent to which I considered hiring someone else. The judge inferred that I had not considered others therefore this could look like apparent bias — if the entire paper trail was made public in a JR into bias, which is obviously very circular reasoning!
In fact I did consider hiring others, I considered it extremely quickly and made a decision — one of dozens that day, and not the most important. I did not go through a formal process, I did not write down a list of criteria and pretend to ‘rank’ different companies. We had not time, we had a disease doubling every 2-3 days. I thought very quickly, made a decision, then moved on to another similar decision, then another. That was my job. My decision was expert, as the judge accepted. (Our data was appalling, PHE’s communication plans were no good, we urgently needed to figure out how to communicate better to lower the probability of killing people by mistake, so I hired a company I knew would do an excellent job and they did.)”
For some people the bureaucratic procedure is more important than the outcome. They are not the kind of people you want in control during an emergency…
Nice arrangement, though Guido can’t imagine he’ll be setting his alarm that early for it again…