When Rishi Sunak took over as Prime Minister, he promised to place integrity and accountability at the heart of his government. Well, he’s not doing great at either at the minute is he? Yes, Nadim Zahawi was sacked, but why wasn’t he sacked when it became clear that he had not told the PM he had paid a penalty to HM Revenue and Customs? There is the suggestion that after Liz Truss sacked a junior minister, only for them to be cleared of misconduct two months later, the party is taking a more cautious approach. Fair enough. And the investigation was completed in less than a week and Sunak sacked Zahawi the same day that the report came out, maybe even slightly before the report was released. So, the PM can claim, correctly to some degree, that he did act ‘pretty decisively’. But if he can act ‘pretty decisively’ over what he himself described as a ‘serious breach’ of the ministerial code, then why on earth is Suella Braverman still Home Secretary? Not to mention that there is an ongoing investigation of the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab into multiple allegations of bullying across multiple departments where Raab has worked. And the last time that a Tory cabinet member was investigated for bullying, it resulted in the government having to pay a very senior civil servant considerable compensation as a result of an employment tribunal.
And I think this can be traced back to Boris Johnson. Because what is not strong at the top is often reflected right the way down. And it is patently clear that Boris Johnson’s moral compass has been in the bin for a very long time. When Patel was found to have broken the ministerial code over the aforementioned bullying scandal, Johnson refused to sack her. He instead changed the ministerial code so that a ‘minor breach’ no longer necessitated sacking someone. When he was accused of lying to Parliament, thus breaking the ministerial code himself, he simply tried to change the code again to make it ok to lie to Parliament. And there is everything else in Johnson’s public life. The numerous affairs, the fact he won’t tell the press just how many children he has, because he isn’t quite sure himself. The fact that as Foreign Secretary, he met an ex-KGB agent with close links to Vladimir Putin without any of his security detail present. The flat refurbishment that cost many thousands of pounds and an ethics committee investigation that resulted in the Conservative Party being fined over £17000. His clodhopping, slower-than-a-snail’s approach to COVID. The refusal to act swiftly on scientific advice. That ‘let the bodies pile high’ comment when refusing to put another lockdown in place. The shameful attempt to cover up the numerous gatherings in Downing Street that flew in the face of the regulations that the rest of the country were obeying. The parties themselves.
The Tories let this amoral man become the face of the party and he pulled the amoral people to the top with him. And now they can’t get out of the sewer.