James O'Brien's analysis of choices facing Boris Johnson over No10 booze-up

12 January 2022, 12:00

By Tim Dodd

This was James O'Brien's clinical analysis of the choices facing Boris Johnson at Prime Minister's Questions - when the PM must break his silence on mounting party allegations.

It comes as a leaked email appeared to show civil servant Martin Reynolds, Boris Johnson's principal private secretary, inviting more than 100 Downing Street staff to a "bring your own booze" event.

Nobody from the Government stepped up to defend Mr Johnson in the morning media rounds, after he was accused of attending the "bring your own booze" party at No10 in May 2020 - when England was in lockdown.

Tory MPs have slammed the Prime Minister for avoiding the latest partygate allegations, suggesting his position is "completely untenable" and sharing their concern over Mr Johnson’s lack of action.

He has been urged to take responsibility and be honest about the events that unfolded.

Tobias Ellwood told Sky News: "I strongly urge the Prime Minister to act now, to apologise for No 10's poor judgment, to show some contrition and to be committed to appropriately respond to Sue Gray's findings when they come out."

James O'Brien said: "I think we got very close yesterday to distilling the essence of him, and it's a two-pronged fork.

"It's: How can I get out of this? How can I postpone the consequences of my own actions in the hope that actually if I can postpone them for long enough then there will be no consequences for those actions?"

James outlined the PM's options.

Read more: Boris Johnson set to break silence on Partygate ahead of PMQs

"The three choices are: he throws the towel in because the calculation based upon self-interest is [that] he's taken this grift as far as it can go now and it's time to disappear from public life for a couple of years and then come back with his bafoonish 'Have I Got News For You' character very carefully buffed, a couple of second-rate books about the history that he's claimed we shouldn't be changing or challenging anyway.

"Option two is that events are taken beyond his control, and his situation actually becomes untenable because of the actions of others, and then option three is that he somehow contrives to sit tight, in the hope, with no guarantee... to emerge, if not unscathed, then unfinished.

"All of the carnage, all of the capital, will be expended by other people. It's their reputations that'll never recover."

Read more: Mum who lost daughter, 14, during May 2020 lockdown too devastated to say the PM's name

Sadiq Khan was asked if the Met would have ignored the Sarah Everard vigil if it was BYOB

'If the Everard vigil was BYOB, would the have Met ignored it?'

James O'Brien said the Prime Minister's regime reminded him of a video game.

James O'Brien's powerful analogy of Boris 'sucking the souls' of those closest to him

James O'Brien's powerful take on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

James O'Brien's merciless take on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation

'January 6 is just the beginning'

Capitol riots not culmination of Trump years but 'just the beginning', says journalist

James O'Brien's utter disbelief that PM 'forgot' about Whatsapp messages

Flat saga: James O'Brien's utter disbelief that PM 'forgot' about WhatsApp messages

'Come and spend a shift with me': Paramedic hits out at 'pontificating' journalists

Paramedic breaks down explaining she is 'on the brink of nervous collapse'

Bristol's slavery 'cancer' was 'surgically removed' by Colston Four, says witness David Olusoga

Bristol's slavery 'cancer' was 'surgically removed' by Colston Four, says historian David Olusoga

James O'Brien's passionate take on defining patriotism

James O'Brien's passionate take on defining patriotism

James O'Brien: Uproar over Tony Blair's knighthood 'silly'

James O'Brien: Uproar over Tony Blair's knighthood 'silly'

James O'Brien moved by grieving father's response to Cummings' claims

Best of 2021: James O'Brien moved by grieving father's response to Cummings' claims

Best of 2021: Matt Hancock's pub landlord 'sets the record straight'

Best of 2021: Matt Hancock's pub landlord 'sets the record straight'

James O'Brien's best moments of 2021

James O'Brien's best moments of 2021

Trump fan hangs up after being asked question by James O'Brien

Best of 2021: Trump fan hangs up after being asked question by James O'Brien

James O'Brien reaction to PM's decision to delay Covid measures

James O'Brien reaction to PM's decision to delay Covid measures

James O'Brien: 'It's not a flipping work meeting, it's a flipping party'

James O'Brien: 'It's not a flipping work meeting, it's a flipping party'

Tory MPs 'suddenly all hate' PM for Covid rules, James O'Brien explains

Tory MPs 'suddenly all hate' PM for Covid rules, James O'Brien explains