It seems impossible to escape from the ongoing saga that is Boris Johnson. Even after he has run away from facing the music he still commands massive coverage in the national newspapers and on our television screens.
He has the ability to command the narrative so that he keeps himself in the headlines. It is difficult to see what it is that has enabled him to reach high office. Yes he was a bright boy at school. It is reported that he earned money by doing homework for less able pupils whilst at public school. He went to university and clearly had the ambition to “rule the world”.
His track record both in his private life and in his career is one long saga. His relationships with women are well documented. His exact number of offspring has long been a mystery but seems to be eight children in total. It remains to be seen if his current marriage will face the test of time. His previous failed relationships would suggest that this is still an open question.
When it comes to his working life he has a record of losing jobs through lying. This was true when he was a journalist. He was sacked by Michael Howard for lying. He has been sacked from Parliament for lying. Yet despite this history of not being able to tell the truth he still commands a following amongst many Tory supporters. The recently knighted Rees-Mogg is one of his supporters. How intelligent people can back him is difficult to comprehend.
When it came to the vote on the Privileges Report we saw the Tory party members in large numbers taking the easy option and abstaining from voting. As the whole house had agreed that the committee should investigate Johnson it is unacceptable that they should abstain. Michael Gove used the excuse to abstain in that he thought the punishment of a 90-day suspension was excessive. The Prime Minister stayed away on the pretext that he did not want to influence the vote. These are scandalous actions from men with no backbone. The real reason so many opted out was that they have Johnson supporters in their constituencies and were afraid of upsetting them. The 108-page report on Johnson is crystal clear. It was endorsed by the whole committee. It stated that Johnson had not just lied but had done so repeatedly. Given this evidence how can anyone not support its findings?
To their credit some notable senior Tory members did stand up and be counted. Penny Mordaunt and Theresa May were unambiguous when they underlined the crystal need for members of the House of Commons to always tell the truth.
There are still some issues that are unresolved from this saga. We taxpayers paid over £250,000 for Johnson to have legal representation in his defence. He lost his case and should be made to pay for his legal team.
Since leaving Number 10 it is reported that he has made £5 million giving speeches around the world. Breaking the ministerial code he has accepted a role with the Daily Mail to write a weekly column for a reported six figure sum. He earned speech making fees whilst being a member of parliament which provided him with £86,000. As an ex-Prime Minister he can claim £150,000 per year in office expenses. He also got a severance pay on leaving Parliament. This money is going to a man who repeatedly lied to Parliament. It is difficult to accept that a man of this character should be getting hard-earned taxpayers’ money when we are about to see mortgage rates rise to hit the people who paid for Johnson to defend the indefensible.
They say liars never prosper but Johnson proved they do!