DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Will this Partygate fiasco never end? 

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Will this Partygate fiasco never end?

It really is beyond parody. Seven weeks into the Partygate inquiry and police have now decided they need to conduct face-to-face interviews with ‘key witnesses’.

Naturally more officers will be needed for the fiendishly complex task of discovering who may have attended cheese and wine parties in a possible breach of lockdown.

After all, with a knife crime epidemic raging across the capital, detection rates at an all-time low and burglars going about their business with virtual impunity, it’s not as if they have anything better to do.

There is such a weary predictability about the process whenever the police get involved in politics.

It begins with pious declarations about having to go ‘where the evidence leads’, followed by months of shilly-shallying, millions down the drain – and a thoroughly unsatisfactory conclusion.

A policeman stands guard outside 10 Downing Street as the Met Police continues its investigation into 'Partygate' allegations

A policeman stands guard outside 10 Downing Street as the Met Police continues its investigation into ‘Partygate’ allegations

Why Scotland Yard was called in at all is a mystery. This isn’t some dastardly corruption issue. At worst, members of Downing Street staff broke Covid rules by gathering after a long day’s work during the worst pandemic in modern history.

They shouldn’t have, of course, and if they did, they ought to have been better supervised. But it’s hardly a hanging offence. The maximum penalty is equivalent to a parking ticket.

Meanwhile a forensic report into the background and culture surrounding the parties by respected civil servant Sue Gray has to gather dust until the Yard finishes its absurd chin-stroking.

Opponents of the Prime Minister are hoping he will be found to have broken the rules which he himself imposed, at which point they will howl for his resignation.

Most of us, however, are past caring. We just want this fiasco to end and for the police to get back to their day job – detecting and preventing real crimes.

 

PM’s power struggle

It’s a fact of political life that chancellors are always cool on the idea of building more nuclear power stations.

Their prime ministers may wax lyrical about new generations of clean, secure energy, but it’s ultimately the Treasury that has to pick up the eye-watering bills.

So the tension between Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson over the PM’s energy security strategy is nothing new. Mr Johnson wants nuclear expansion to proceed at ‘warp-speed’, Mr Sunak at the usual snail’s pace.

'Tension between Chancellor Rishi Sunak (right) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) over the PM’s energy security strategy is nothing new'

‘Tension between Chancellor Rishi Sunak (right) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) over the PM’s energy security strategy is nothing new’

This time the PM must prevail. For too long our nuclear capability has been run down because governments have flinched at the cost or caved in to the green lobby.

Now, with Europe trying to wean itself off Russian gas, North Sea production declining and renewables not yet ready to take up the slack, nuclear is the only realistic option.

Mr Johnson unveils his strategy at the end of the month. It must be bold and innovative, involving small modular reactors as well as larger plants.

The time for dithering is over. Only with determination and willpower will we bridge the looming energy gap.

 

Putin’s Nazi playbook

The merciless bombing of civilian targets. Obliterating towns and villages. And now the forced deportation of thousands of terrified, disorientated families.

After the horrors of the 1940s, we thought such scenes had been consigned to history. But in eastern Ukraine, they are the grim realities of today.

How bitterly ironic that Vladimir Putin should paint his enemies in this war as ‘neo-Nazis’, when his own scorched-earth tactics are straight from the SS playbook.

With every day that passes, the case for a Nuremburg-style war crimes trial when this monstrous conflict is over becomes more overwhelming.