May 24, 2022

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It cannot be good for democracy that so much power is vested in the police

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Now she must decide whether Starmer and Rayner broke lock-down rules — and whether any breach was serious enough to warrant a fine. Yet this is all a mess of Sir Keir’s making.

The Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner is leading the inquiry into whether lockdown restrictions on parties were broken by Johnson and others in Downing Street and Whitehall
PA
PA:Press Association

The chief of Durham Police is probing if Starmer and Rayner flouted Covid restrictions by holding a curry-and-beer evening with Labour colleagues after canvassing in the city[/caption] She is not to be trifled with — having once ended up in a fight, rolling on the ground, with a woman she arrested for a public order offence outside a pub. Peppering his speeches with tear-jerking examples of folk forced by lockdown to miss weddings and funerals while the PM and his aides did karaoke and ate cake, he has continually called on Johnson to resign. Some say her full report, held back until police inquiries finish, will be so damning he will have to quit. Meanwhile the investigation into claims of rule-breaking in No10 and Whitehall ploughs on.

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Read More on The Sun The woman in charge of the investigation into the shenanigans in Durham Miners Hall in April 2021 is Jo Farrell — the first female chief constable in the 180-year history of Durham Police. Never has a cheap curry left such a bad taste. Scotland Yard has issued more than 100 fixed penalty notices to people who work there, including Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

But it cannot be good for democracy that so much power is vested in the police. But how can they? Read More in Opinion Having made such a song and dance about Johnson’s failure to stand down after receiving a fixed penalty notice, they accept they’ll have no choice but to quit if they too are fined. From her interim findings, we know Downing Street’s former Director General of Propriety and Ethics takes a dim view of the boozy antics to which the PM turned a blind eye. It’s not just Connors he has to worry about. Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4104. You can WhatsApp us on 07423 720 250. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours Do you have a story for The Sun news desk? Click here to get The Sun newspaper delivered for FREE for the next six weeks. The senior officers involved have vowed to keep politics out of any decision to issue fixed penalty notices. What a mortifying mess for sanctimonious Sir Keir to find himself in, after all his moralizing about public probity. If Starmer and Rayner go on a point of principle, Johnson’s position will become very much shakier.

HIGH STAKES

The police and other public servants are not there to decide the fates of governments or opposition leaders. Every night, as he retreats to the Downing Street quarters he shares with his family, he knows that in the offices below is a timebomb in the shape of the Sue Gray report. Police were reluctant to get involved but Sir Keir stirred up such a storm that they bowed to pressure and are now investigating his beer-and-curry bash. The stakes could hardly be higher. He has positioned himself as a paragon of virtue, on a mission to hold a “shameless” PM to account. Top cops Jane Connors and Jo Farrell, and Downing Street civil servant Sue Gray, could create a political earthquake toppling the Labour leadership — but also the Prime Minister. Some will cheer if Starmer falls on his sword or Johnson is brought down. Sir Keir has said that if he gets a fine, he will resign. So police know the consequences. He has spent the entire year preaching about trust in politics and the importance of politicians doing the right thing when they let people down — only to now be accused of failing to apply the same high standards to himself. It could also trigger events that bring down other political figures, including the PM, and be the biggest political use of our police since the miners’ strike in 1984. Now, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner face their own nightmare involving women in high places.

But now the saintly pair face a police investigation into whether they, too, broke the rules when they tucked into an Indian takeaway with colleagues after a day out canvassing in Durham.
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Top cop Connors has a long record of ensuring law and order at major events — including London’s riotous Notting Hill Carnival in 2018. As Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Connors, and Durham Police Chief Constable Farrell continue investigating if Starmer, Rayner and Johnson broke lockdown laws, and Downing Street’s Second Permanent Secretary Sue Gray prepares to release her report into partying in No10 during the pandemic, the three politicians wait.

Reuters

Boris Johnson knows that there is a timebomb in the shape of the Sue Gray report[/caption]

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Already, Downing Street is the most fined address in the country for Covid breaches.

Whatever he has said, Ange has echoed, adopting an expression of woe as she has questioned how the PM has the nerve to remain in office.
Saved by his leadership over the war in Ukraine, and council election results that could have been much worse, Johnson has survived one fixed penalty notice but is still sweating.