As seems to be the case for all cabinet ministers over the last six months, Oliver Dowden’s having to distance himself from a booze-related story. A photo of a programme from a charity event in Dowden’s Hertfordshire constituency shows the Tory party chairman had donated a Boris-signed bottle of champagne to the event. The item’s description, however, was a very obviously pointed critique of the PM:
“A bottle of champagne signed by Boris. Hugely valuable as a souvenir of partygate and the exemplary behaviour and morality of our dear leader!”
Oddly, plenty of lefties on Twitter seem to believe that the comment had been provided by Dowden himself and that it was jovially making light of partygate, rather than mocking the PM.
Perhaps you thought the Conservative party took partygate seriously. Last night a champagne bottle signed by @BorisJohnson was donated to a charity event in Hertfordshire by local MP and Tory party chairman @OliverDowden. Read the description. pic.twitter.com/FtjgvKcYKS— Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) May 13, 2022
Dowden’s office has now clarified, saying “This item was donated in good faith several months ago for a local charity auction. Oliver Dowden had no prior knowledge of the description and this is obviously not his view.” Whatever performative outrage will the online left conjure up next?