Partygate has exposed the prime minister’s shortcomings and ensured Tory rebellions become part of Westminster life
Once again the country finds itself paralysed by a crisis in the Conservative party. Tory MPs took a gamble on Boris Johnson’s personality in order to gain the benefit of his Brexit credentials. In 2019, Mr Johnson did lead his party to victory in the general election. But that bet has not paid off subsequently because of who he is: an incompetent rogue, disloyal to almost everyone but himself. His government has stumbled from crisis to crisis in recent months, wrecking its authority.
Mr Johnson deals with scandals by hunkering down and waiting for the storm to blow itself out. That is the approach he adopted on Wednesday. After weeks of dodging questions, Mr Johnson offered an apology – and a defence – for spending 25 minutes at a boozy evening event in May 2020 for dozens of people in the Downing Street garden in breach of the law during the first Covid lockdown.
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