Downing Street Claim Boris Forgot About FCDO Investigation into Pincher

This afternoon’s press briefing has just wrapped up, having started over half an hour late. It was a disaster. The briefing opened with a question for the ages: “Are you planning on telling truth today?” Downing Street spokesperson Max Blain responded with “in short, yes…”

The new line from No.10, it seems, is that Boris simply “forgot” about the upheld claims against Pincher from 2019 when the scandal first broke last week, only to miraculously remember at some point over the weekend. When pressed to confirm if that was true, Blain insisted it was “broadly” correct. Either way, it doesn’t appear he told Deputy PM Dominic Raab about this sudden recollection before sending him out onto the media round this morning…

When asked whether the PM was sorry for appointing Pincher in February, Blain said:

“I think the Prime Minister wouldn’t want to see this behaviour from any of his ministers… obviously this is subject to an investigation. The Prime Minister wouldn’t want to see this behaviour from any of his ministers.”

When it was pointed out that there were upheld complaints against Pincher at the time of the reshuffle, yet Boris appointed him anyway, Blain added:

“…It’s difficult without going into specifics… what I would say is that in 2019 there was a situation that was looked into… I can’t get into the judgements made [at the reshuffle]… After the appointment was made, he was made aware that there was a further allegation looked into by the propriety and ethics team.”

Asked if he often finds it difficult to do his job, Blain claimed “Yes I do, it is difficult to establish facts […] about issues that took place some time ago”…

mdi-timer July 5 2022 @ 13:01 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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