It is clear that Boris Johnson is only sorry that he has been caught

“I thought it was a work event” is the new “testing of my vision”. The Prime Minister’s attempt to justify going to a closing party in Downing Street was ridiculous. He looked absurd, absurd, panicky.

Burned by public anger. Like other mix, “work events” were banned in May 2020 unless a gathering was “essential”.

Those were the days when families used iPads to watch their loved ones die.

This was not a misjudgment, it is a pattern of behavior. That’s his personality.

Again, he has shown contempt for the standards of conduct expected of him in high office.

Boris Johnson is most upset that he has been caught. He is in mortal danger. Four weeks ago, 10 officials doubted that revelations about their lockdown parties had “cut through”. Now the prime minister risks losing his job.

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Conservative MPs are tired of defending the indefensible. Many will wait to see what another permanent secretary in the cabinet office, Sue Gray, says in his inquiry, or how the Tories are doing in the May election.

Anger may subside. Even those who want to oust him fear that he may survive a leadership election held now, which would force them to wait a year before another push.

He will try to sharpen it out. So Tory MPs eager to overthrow him need to be sure they have the numbers – and a replacement on the keel. In one of the pandemic’s finest moments of social distancing, Chancellor Rishi Sunak was in urgent business in Ilfracombe. Liz Truss sat with a stony face on the front bench.

Sue Gray’s findings will shape the fate of the Prime Minister, his primary private secretary and the cabinet secretary, an unprecedented situation.

Even if it’s not now when the dam breaks, Boris Johnson could be washed away overnight.

Twitter: @olyduff

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