Coffee House Shots

Have the Tories forgiven Boris for partygate?

12 min listen

Despite the fines issued yesterday, Keir Starmer’s attacks at Prime Minister’s Questions today failed to land on Boris Johnson. In part, this was down to the Prime Minister’s ‘remarkably pugnacious’ attitude, according to James Forsyth on this episode. What’s more, it seems that Conservative MPs are happy to allow partygate to take a back seat for now. James remarks that ‘previously when Boris Johnson tried that kind of very aggressive tactic… you could see the discomfort on Tory benches. Today I thought that was much less visible.’

This all comes after a team bonding dinner at the Crowne Plaza last night, where Boris Johnson gave a boisterous speech to backbench MPs, followed by after-dinner remarks from broadcaster Gyles Brandreth. Was this good timing? ‘I do think that the jokes that Boris Johnson was telling is a sign of the current confidence in No 10 about his position’, James says.

Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman also discuss the Shrewsbury maternity scandal. On Sajid Javid’s pledge that this won’t happen again, Isabel Hardman says: ‘I’m not sure that that is a promise he can really make, because we had that promise after Morecambe Bay, which again was exposed by a bereaved father’.

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