Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear.
Boris Johnson's enemies have been gunning for him at every opportunity almost ever since he became leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. Many supposed infractions have been laid at the door of Mr Johnson quite wrongly although he clearly bears responsibility for some. However, the latest revelations, concerning the former Deputy Chief Whip, surely are the final nail in his coffin.
For months, assorted members of the Government have been sent out to defend a range of claimed offences, usually of a minor nature although sometimes suggesting a degree of duplicity or impropriety on the part of the Prime Minister. The latest scandal revolves not around whether Christopher Pincher behaved badly, which he clearly did, but around what Mr Johnson previously knew about the errant MP, and the extent to which he ignored prior knowledge and even lied about what he knew.
Frankly, the evidence seems clear. Mr Johnson has known for several years that Mr Pincher was a problematic Member of Parliament but still appointed him to a government position. The immediate response from Mr Johnson's office when asked about Mr Pincher's previous history was to deny that he knew anything; within hours, that position has been turned on its head and it's now been shown that there was detailed prior knowledge. Voices from various government sources have done their best to explian all this away, but it is surely nothing but a vain attempt to paper over canyon sized cracks in the Prime Minister's remaining credibility.
As always, it's not the offence which causes problems it's the lies and cover ups. It's often been said that everyone knew of Mr Johnson's difficulties with openness, truth and honesty before he was elected but such an argument can only be trotted out so many times. This occasion is one time too many.
For me, Boris Johnson's time is now up. He has to go as soon as possible, for the good of the Government, Party and Country.