Prior to Boris Johnson facing the music over the “bring- your-own-bottle” garden party at Prime Minister’s Questions, this newspaper called for him to do the right thing and leave office.
His performance in the Commons did nothing to change our minds.
The prime minister now stands before the public as a man with a serious credibility problem.
Desperate delaying tactics
He is someone reduced to desperate delaying tactics – an inquiry by civil servant Sue Gray that Mr Johnson was forced to order following allegations of other social events in the Downing Street/Westminster bubble – in the hope of riding out the storm.
But the substantive issue of public confidence in the office of the prime minister remains.
Boris Johnson, by his own admission after days of questions without answers, attended an event in the Downing Street garden at the height of lockdown to which around 100 people were invited and some 30 or so turned up. By any objective measure it was a party.
This while the public, who afforded him the great privilege of leading this country, were confined to barracks under Covid regulations set out by his government which were designed to cut viral transmission pathways and keep the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.
Appalling and galling
Instead, those at the very heart of government ignored their own advice and it was drinks on the lawn on a sunny day.
How nice for them. How appalling and galling for the rest of us.
And how distressing for those who lost loved ones to Covid and were unable to provide comfort and support to them in their final moments.
A strong leader would have held those people uppermost in his thoughts and used their experiences to guide the response.
Boris Johnson did not do that.
And as such he has failed the people who put trust in him and must face the consequences.