Rarely can the saying that a week is a long time in politics have been more true than in the case of Boris Johnson. The timetable for the election of the next Conservative leader, which was announced last week, clearly favoured him, given the large lead he has over his closest rivals. But the decision of District Judge Margot Coleman has turned that advantage on its head. For there is no realistic chance that the prosecution against Johnson can be concluded before Conservative MPs decide which two candidates will go before the membership.
There has been talk of a judicial review to the High Court of the District Judge’s decision, but even if this can be expedited, the appeal is most likely to fail. The High Court has made it clear that it will not hear challenges to a decision to prosecute save in wholly exceptional circumstances, none of which appear to apply here.