Des Smith hit the bottle hard last week under the pressure of the police inquiry into the cash for honours scam. He broke down in tears yesterday in court as he was sentenced for drink driving at Redbridge magistrates. The police evidence to the court was that he was three times over the maximum limit. Guido has a lot of empathy for a fellow hard-drinking Catholic. Will the school governors feel the same?
It can hardly be good for school discipline that the kids know the headmaster has been arrested in a corruption investigation and that he now has a criminal record as well. His involvement in fund raising for Sleazy Levy, who has also been arrested and is himself the primary target of the investigation, offers a way out. Clearly the Sleaze Master General is the one the police really want to nail.
Currently Des Smith is in denial and protesting his innocence. Guido’s advice, in the best of Catholic traditions, is that Des should make a full confession to Yates’ Operation Ribble.
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”