“If the prime minister knew about this party last December, knew about this party last week, and was still denying it, then that is the most serious allegation.
“There is absolutely no way you can mislead parliament and think you could get off with that. No one should continue in their post if they mislead parliament in that way.”
Not our words. Not even the words of one of Boris Johnson’s staunchest critics.
A leaked video had shown her joking with aides about the disputed party last December, while gatherings were banned due to Covid restrictions.
No 10 Christmas party claims keep coming
Boris Johnson insists he has been “repeatedly assured” that no such event took place.
We must take him at his word and await the outcome of the investigation he has ordered.
But another former adviser Dominic Cummings now claims a party was held in the Downing Street flat on the day he was sacked, November 13.
And with anger mounting from within Conservative party ranks, including former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, there will be little to celebrate at No 10 this Christmas.
None of this is remotely defensible. Not having busy, boozy not-parties while others were sticking to the rules, unable to visit ill or dying loved ones.
Nor flat-out denying things that are easily provable. Not taking the public for fools. 1/2
— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonPC) December 8, 2021
Boris Johnson has ridden out scandal upon outrage during his tenure as prime minister
It remains to be seen whether this will be the career-ender, or just another shabby post-script to his government’s handling of the pandemic.
But it has heaped hurt on people who abided by the Covid-19 rules – often at great personal expense – last Christmas.
And it is now in danger of undermining public health messaging as governments try to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.
It is a shameful, shambolic performance from a government which has squandered public confidence in its time of greatest need.