New Times,
New Thinking.

The public has already made up its mind about Boris Johnson

Voters aren’t waiting for Sue Gray’s report to be published – they’re waiting for justice.

By Stephen Bush

The Metropolitan Police have asked Sue Gray to remove references to eight incidents that the force is investigating from her report into lockdown-breaking Downing Street parties, in order to avoid prejudicing their inquiries.

Relief for Boris Johnson? That’s the consensus among many Conservatives this morning. It means that Gray’s report will either be further delayed or published missing some of its biggest hits, and the Metropolitan Police’s investigation may not yet conclude that the is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Just one problem, though: are the British public really waiting for Sue Gray, or indeed for the Metropolitan Police, to tell them whether or not the rules were broken? The evidence from the polls and indeed every focus group I have seen is that the public is pretty clear that rules were broken. What people are waiting for is justice, and what they expect is a cover-up.

The Conservative Party is doing what political parties in trouble often do: mistaking its own rhythms for the heartbeat of the nation. An abandoned investigation and a gutted report would, I’m convinced, combine all the political pain of the Owen Paterson vote with all the discomfort of the last few months.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors

Topics in this article :