Boris Reveals Downing Street’s Seuss-Inspired Motto, Says Partygate has “Been a Totally Miserable Experience”

A frank interview from Boris this afternoon as he sat down in No.10 with Mumsnet to answer questions from the site’s users on everything from Partygate and leadership, to his own parenting skills and favourite children’s books. From the sounds of it, mums have soured on Boris in the months since they rallied behind him over his sensible stance on trans women in sport. According to Roberts, the overall mood on the site is that Boris is “a habitual liar” and should step down. A conclusion Boris naturally disagreed with…

Aside from the expected questions on Partygate – he claims it’s “been a totally miserable experience for people in government” and “we’ve got to learn from it [and] move forward” – Boris also responded to questions on his own parenting skills by claiming he’s “doing a lot” at the moment with very quick nappy changes. He also claims his favourite children’s books are by Dr. Seuss:

“I’m doing a lot. All I would say is that I’m doing a lot at the moment… I say that without any inhibition or fear of contradiction. I can tell you I’ve changed a lot of nappies… I’m very fast by the way… This was no time for playing. This was no time for fun. This was no time for games. There was work to be done… which is our motto in Number 10.”

He also said it would be not be “responsible” to “abandon the project” and resign over Partygate. Guido imagines his advisors are pretty upset, as he also reviewed their lockdown-breaking surprise birthday party as “a miserable event”…

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Shadow Minister: Fined Starmer Wouldn’t Quit and then Stand Again

 

Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray finally gave into questioning from Nick Robinson this morning, and said Sir Keir resigning in the wake of a Beergate fine and then standing in the subsequent leadership election is “not under consideration”. After a few evasive answers he implied Starmer would not try the disingenuous tactic. The questions came after former Chief Whip Nick Brown floated the idea at the weekend.

“I don’t anyone’s ever thought about this, that’s why I’m saying it’s not under consideration… when you put it in the context of ‘has this been discussed? Is this part of the overall strategy?’ there’s no strategy here… The reason I’m saying it’s not under consideration is because I don’t think anyone’s ever thought about this. Nick Brown has said it as an off-the-cuff remark and it’s now become part of the story.”

Last night a Labour Spokesperson confirmed to Guido that both Starmer and Rayner have now received police questionnaires over their beer and curry night. While the exact content and wording of Durham Police’s questionnaires isn’t yet known, those sent by the Met to the Prime Minister stated recipients “do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention we questioned something which you later rely on in court”. In other words, a police caution. Something Angela Rayner described as “frankly a national embarrassment” at the time…

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Paul Holmes Resigns as Priti’s PPS over “Toxic Culture” in Number 10

Paul Holmes has stepped down as Priti Patel’s PPS this afternoon following the publication of the Sue Gray report and the “toxic culture” in Downing Street. In a statement released on his website, Holmes said:

“Revelations from the Sue Gray report that staff and cleaners were not treated properly is both disappointing and unacceptable, it is right that the Prime Minister apologised to staff. It clearly showed a culture in Number 10 that was distasteful, and I am glad that there have been several reforms that Sue Gray has welcomed.

It is clear to me that a deep mistrust in both the Government and the Conservative Party has been created by these events, something that pains me personally as someone who always tries to represent Eastleigh and its people with integrity. Whether that is taking up your issues in Parliament or helping people with their problems closer to home, since 2019 we have completed over 12,000 pieces of constituency casework. It is distressing to me that this work on your behalf has been tarnished by the toxic culture that seemed to have permeated Number 10.

Over the last few weeks this distress has led me to conclude that I want to continue to focus solely on my efforts in being your Member of Parliament and the campaigns that are important to you. That is why I have now resigned from my governmental responsibilities as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office.”

The MP was dripping wet Stephen Hammond’s old researcher and a May-era SpAd. He appears to stop short of saying PM should go, so far, though don’t be surprised if he does at a difficult moment. Consequently Guido hasn’t added him to his rolling list of MPs calling for the PM to go… yet. “I have resigned to focus on my constituency. This is not about letters for me” he says. Cryptic…

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Labour to Appoint FPN-Loving Harman to Lead Investigation into Boris

Labour is set to appoint ex-Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman to chair Parliament’s Privileges Committee investigation into whether the PM misled the Commons over Partygate. The vacancy was created when Chris Bryant stepped down because he didn’t want the investigation to look biased. Guido’s not sure whether any Tory in the country is going to accept Harman’s judgements as politically neutral…

If Labour goes ahead with the bizarre appointment, not only will the PM be judged by someone equally as biased as Bryant, having called for the PM to quit, it’ll be one of the few Labour MPs who’s racked up more Fixed Penalty Notices than Boris. As Guido pointed out when Harman accused the PM of breaking the laws he made, she was charged with three speeding offences during her time as a minister…

It may not matter either way: the Telegraph reports some believe even if found guilty the PM could avoid a by-election, given the 2015 legislation only applies to suspensions handed out by the Standards Committee – not the Privileges Committee. The greased piglet won’t stop wriggling…

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Barclay: Downing Street Leaving Drinks Happened Because Staff Worked “Closely Together”

Steve Barclay was the minister unlucky enough to be up on the media round the morning after Sue Gray Day, and it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk. Appearing on the Today Programme, Barclay repeatedly dodged the question of whether it was right for Boris to attend No.10 leaving dos in lockdown, with Nick Robinson grilling him over Boris’s claim in the House yesterday that it was an “essential duty of [his] leadership“. Not something leaders of schools or hospitals could get away with…

“I think as most people recognise, the pressures, the tight-knit groups… there was a huge amount of activity going on… it was his belief that within the context of the work exception, people within the very specialised nature of Downing Street, working long hours together…”

So tight-knit they were sat on each others’ laps…

Asked by LBC how the PM hadn’t noticed his own son’s swing being broken by drunken revellers, he said “That’s a really good question”, saying Boris was often at Chequers.

Of course it’s true that No.10 staff were already working long hours closely together, yet the rules were the rules. Barclay went on to say the staff believed they were complying with those rules. Not quite what Martin Reynolds said…

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Boris Bats Away Bolshy Beth’s Brazen Barrage… Again

This afternoon’s press conference was a fairly low-key affair, though oner highlight was the PM calling out Beth as the only hack present who tried stealing two questions when he limited everyone to one. He’s got a knack for dealing with her…

mdi-timer 25 May 2022 @ 16:49 25 May 2022 @ 16:49 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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