Partygate IV: report reveals leadership errors

After the publication of a report on parties held at Downing Street during lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given no indication that he will resign. Observers criticse that the head of the enquiry, Sue Gray, identified mistakes in leadership and judgement in government circles, but otherwise remains rather vague.

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The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

This will drag on even longer

The report does not expose any misbehavior on the prime minister's part, says The Daily Telegraph:

“But there is no smoking gun, no blow to the heart of Boris Johnson's operation. [The leader of the investigation Sue Gray] does not criticise the Prime Minister personally, or say that he acted wrongly or recklessly. It is the writing of a senior mandarin who may be angry and frustrated but cannot point the finger in the way in which she might have liked. ... Gray's report has done nothing to name miscreants or assign ultimate responsibility. Now it becomes a political debate, and the parties will continue the fight on that basis. The Prime Minister has bought himself some time.”

Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

Not a good basis for a decision

Tygodnik Powszechny says the outcome is still wide open:

“Prime Minister Johnson's political future was made contingent on the content of this document. Many Tory MPs didn't want to decide whether to move for a change in the party leadership or keep Johnson in office until after the publication of the report. But will this short and very vague report be enough for them? It is well known that their frustration over the delay and the resulting damage to the prime minister's and the party's public image was growing. ... It is now up to Johnson's party colleagues to decide how to proceed. And the British people will be able to express their opinion at the polls in the local elections in May.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Johnson hoping for a ticket to freedom

Boris Johnson intends to remain prime minister despite the Partygate report. And he might just pull it off, De Standaard comments:

“Does that mean Johnson is safe? No, because Partygate is a soap opera with twists and turns, and the mood within the party can change in a flash. ... The real question is how long the police investigation will last, because Johnson's fate depends above all on public opinion. How long will the anger of the British over the fact that they had to abide by the strict rules and that 156,000 people died last? In Britain, the 'Empire of Freedom' has now begun [with last Thursday's lifting of the 'Plan B' Omicron restrictions]. Johnson is hoping that this will give him a ticket to freedom.”