James O'Brien's ferocious assessment of Downing Street party saga

25 January 2022, 12:36 | Updated: 25 January 2022, 13:57

By Seán Hickey

This is the moment James O'Brien breaks down in fine detail the cultural failings at the heart of the Downing Street party scandal.

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Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick announced this afternoon that police will investigate a series of parties alleged to take place at Downing Street during lockdown.

James O'Brien, reflecting on how long it took the Met to open an investigation, was stumped as to why it took so long.

Read more: 'How stupid does he think you are?': James O'Brien eviscerates Jacob Rees-Mogg

He wondered at what point Dame Cressida saw it appropriate to investigate: "The bloke who was going to [conduct the investigation] can't do it because he was at one of the parties, so we've got [Sue Gray] to do it instead and she'll be reporting to the Prime Minister who... yeah."

He was baffled that today was the day when it was seen to begin investigations.

"Today? Today is the day that the Metropolitan commissioner decides 'do you know what actually? That's a lot of smoke. Maybe there's some fire.' I don't get that, I don't get any of it – and I do this for a living."

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"I don't get how he could give that speech and go back to Downing Street and not get punched."

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"I don't get how the mindset in the building – in Boris Johnson's brain – can be so twisted, so riddled with self-regard and exceptionalism, that he sits there announcing the rules to the country, when he knows he broke them last night!

"And he's gonna break them again tomorrow."

James pointed out that the culture at Downing Street had deteriorated to such an extent that "when he's not even there, such is the scale of the corruption that has filtered down from the top, they're going to get leathered in the garden the night before Prince Philip's funeral."

"If they were gonna complain about us having a knees-up on the night before Prince Philip's funeral, then who is he to talk? He had a blinking birthday party attended by his decorator."

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