Johnson and the “Gray report” on the partygate, the premier apologizes but does not resign: “I understood the lesson”

from Luigi Ippolito, correspondent from London

The report: “Lack of leadership and judgment” at the top of the government. The accusations against Johnson by the Labor leader Starmer: “He is a shameless man who has taken us all for fools”

Head bowed, Boris Johnson recited his mea culpa before the Westminster MPs: “I’m sorry – said the premier – for the things we did not do right and for the way in which we handled the matter”.

And that was the least he could say, after the first conclusions of the investigation into the Downing Street parties in full lockdown were made public.

“Lack of leadership and judgment” at the top of the government, is the accusation launched in those pages by Sue Gray, the senior official who conducted the investigation. “Some of the events should not have been allowed to unfold,” wrote Sue Gray, while “other events should not have been allowed to unfold as they did.” In other words, those parties in the government offices violated the Covid regulations: and therefore now Scotland Yard is investigating 12 of them.

But the newly published Gray report is only an “update” on the investigation, it is not the final report: why the police asked and obtained to avoid details that could compromise the ongoing investigation. And therefore in those few pages there are no direct references and facts and people: in short, there is no knockout blow against Boris Johnson.

And this is why the premier presented himself with a contrite but combative spirit in front of the deputies: “Saying I’m sorry is not enough – he added -: this is the moment when we have to look in the mirror and learn”. And so Johnson promised to reform government procedures “immediately”: “I understand and I’ll fix things,” he concluded.

Obviously, all of this was not enough for the Labor opposition: leader Keir Starmer accused Johnson of being “a man without shame”, who “took us all for fools.” And he again asked for his immediate resignation. Boris, however, has no intention of stepping aside: and has once again vindicated its successes in bringing Brexit to an end and conducting the fastest and largest vaccination campaign in Europe.

His fate, however, is in the hands of the Conservative deputies: in the next few hours they will have to decide whether to renew their trust in him or proceed with his removal. But in the absence of a clear successor, Johnson may not have reached the final hour yet.

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