James O'Brien: Boris Johnson 'thinks he's the real victim' of Partygate

26 May 2022, 12:02

By Seán Hickey

The Prime Minister's 'apology of an apology' for Partygate stems from a 'genuine belief' that he 'should not be exposed' to any kind of scrutiny.

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Boris Johnson told the nation that he takes "full responsibility" for the repeated breaking of Covid rules at Downing Street in the House of Commons yesterday.

The Prime Minister later on told journalists that it was his "duty" to attend various lockdown-busting parties for Number 10 staff's leaving drinks, which he was photographed at in Sue Gray's damning report.

Assessing the paradox of Mr Johnson's statements, James O'Brien offered a theory.

"He thinks he's the victim. That's why you couldn't follow it."

Read more: Tory MP slammed for saying NHS workers 'also let their hair down' during lockdown

Read more: 'He should be absolutely ashamed': Shelagh Fogarty slams PM over Partygate

"You're taking full responsibility for everything while throwing your staff under a bus?"

He went on in excruciating detail, outlining how he saw the Prime Minister's apology as disingenuous.

Read more: Partygate: Why didn't the PM ask more questions over his son's broken swing?

"The faux apology, the fake sincerity, the nonsensical posturing, the little deceiver's smirk in the corner of his mouth, the claim that he was taking full responsibility, when the events that are unfolding before us prove that he was doing nothing of the sort."

Read more: 'Egregious, stinking behaviour': Andrew Marr's instant reaction to Sue Gray's report

James then took aim at how Conservative MPs quickly shifted their lines after Sue Gray released her findings: "We can't talk about it until the report is published, we can't talk about it until the report is published. The report is published. It's time to move on it's time to move on it's time to move on."

Read more: Iain Dale: PM has 'big challenge' winning back trust of people who voted for him in 2019

"Some people will fall for it," he said, before reiterating that the PM's mood during his apology "was actual, genuine, self pity.

"A genuine belief that he should not be exposed to this sort of treatment because he is Boris Johnson."

"That's why, when you watched that apology – that apology of an apology – you couldn't quite put your finger on what it was that made it so creepy"

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