SEE ALSO ASSOCIATED POST: Prime Minister Boris Johnson, just another victim of the Pandemic – a busted flush with his bolt now well and truly shot?
This situation occurs following a number of “massive errors” of judgement during the coronavirus pandemic – it has been a catalogue of ineptitude on an industrial scale and that’s why there needed to be a full formal PUBLIC inquiry [as now committed, and not a farcical cross party so called ‘set of joint hearings’, led by Jeremy Hunt an ex-Health Secretary with massive personal guilt to hide on the issue).
The latest fiasco show of pandemic incompetence from the government, which has already substantially derailed the planned lifting of lockdown restrictions on 21 June (delayed 4 weeks) and cause serious disruption (although the UK was aiming to take a drastic step to save summer by ramping-up vaccination to one million people per day in a desperate race to check the spread of the Indian variant, and as part of a drive to beat it), is its failure to close the UK borders (madness) to this novel highly transmissible Indian DELTA variant [(B1.617.2.), (though known about as early as February), which perhaps is 50% more transmissible than the Kent variation, so is likely to cause a significant surge in the UK and come to dominate here], and which has already annihilated the Indian subcontinent (in May 4,000 cases a DAY in India alone)]. That comes notwithstanding the government admitting it had conducted a secret, unpublished and withheld review of ‘lessons that needed to be learned’ from past mistakes particularly those that cost lives (which of course included not closing our borders at the start of the pandemic) – the UK is an island so it is relatively easy to stop unwanted potentially virus infected visitors entering here, isn’t it? Well, despite the extremely worrying dangers posed by this variant, what transpired was that once again Boris Johnson dithered, this time over blocking visitors from India when the problem became self-evident from a major Covid spike in that Country, and moreover the variant was not even seen as relevant nor significant so was NOT designated as a variant of concern until much too late on May 7,(double madness). Nevertheless, responding to the surge in infections, the British government on April 9 placed Pakistan and Bangladesh because they have a land border with India [which also has borders with China, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar (formerly Burma)], so therefore obviously were at serious risk of virus variant migration, WERE added to the ‘red list’ governing UK entry on a deemed ‘joke’ border policy (according to former chief Johnson advisor Cummings), followed by its ‘flawed’ isolation processes, BUT not India itself the actual epicentre of the variant (treble madness).
[Indian variant in UK – Indian variant accounted for 1.7% of positive cases in Britain by April 10, up from 0.2% at the end of March. Majority of the infections with the B.1.617 variant are understood to have been in returning travellers
It was not clear to what extent the mutant strain was spreading inside the UK but cases had risen sharply – Coronavirus: UK rate of Indian Covid variant had spiked EIGHT-FOLD in a fortnight as cases surged to 400 and PHE confirmed there are THREE types of the strain]
However, as of early June 2021, the Indian variant (as predicted) is indeed now the dominant strain in UK after a 79% rise in just a week with 12,431 cases now confirmed. The immediate impact has been a UK decision to downgrade Portugal from green to amber as airline bosses speak of travel list outrage. The holiday hotspot, including the islands of Madeira and the Azores, has been removed from the green list exempting the need to quarantine on return from 4am on Tuesday 8th June. [People returning to the UK from Portugal will be required to self-isolate at home for 10 days as part of coronavirus restrictions – many holidaymakers in Portugal had faced a scramble for flights home before the new rules were introduced].
But why all this bloody madness then – doubtless because Boris Johnson was planning at that time a trade mission to India (subsequently it had to be cancelled on April 18 due to virus concerns) and not disrupting that was a higher priority for him than NOT ALLOWING ENTRY of the Indian variant (B1.617.2.) into this Country, eh? Well, flights from India were allowed for a whole MONTH before the red list ban despite rising variant cases there and here (another “reckless failure” to protect Britain’s borders). Well, the result was that understandably people in India who were able and had family or contacts here, headed for the UK as a safe haven. [Reportedly there was a 250 per cent rise in searches for flights from India to the UK. THOUSANDS of passengers arrived in Britain from INDIA during this period. While thirty flights usually arrive into the UK from India every week, airline operators asked to operate an extra eight flights from the country to cope with the surge in demand. Despite the projected devastating impact of the Indian variant on the UK’s war against the virus a thousand people are STILL arriving in Britain EVERY day from India – so thousands upon thousands of visitors almost certainly carrying that strain and their infection may go undetected by quarantine procedures, and ALL allowed without hindrance to travel to ALL the Indian enclaves throughout the UK which has ensured widespread transmission.
The utter proof that our border policy is still INADEQUATE is clearly now self-evident as it transpires that a maritime loophole allowed some 600 cruise ship workers from India to fly here and avoid compulsory hotel quarantine [it was only closed after worried civil servants raised the alarm, amid fears that the Indian Covid variant would delay lockdown ending – those 600 cruise ship employees travelled from NOW “red-list” India through Heathrow on May 13 and 14 and were NOT put into immediate ten-day isolation at hotels, and instead, the arrivals — mostly Indian nationals with some Filipinos — were classed as seafarers; and as such, they were allowed to go to ports, including Southampton, under a rule designed to stop Naval ratings having to quarantine. However, the loophole was shut on May 19 after concerns were raised with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps by furious civil servants. Cruise crew travelling from red-list countries such as India must NOW quarantine in airport hotels]. So in reality there was ‘NO PROPER CONTROL OF OUR BORDERS’ and it’s scandalous and shocking that such a loophole ever existed which does mean we are facing lockdown for even longer, eh? Then of course we see the ridiculous situation whereby the government announced that Portugal was controversially been taken off the UK’s “green list” of destinations from which people can return to England WITHOUT having to quarantine – Portugal was removed from the government’s green travel list from Tuesday 8th June when the changes came into effect at 04:00 BST, amid rising coronavirus cases and concern over a “Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variant”, while seven others (Egypt, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Sudan, and Trinidad & Tobago) join the red list with the toughest travel rules – people arriving in the UK from these destinations will be required to stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days at a fixed cost of £1,750 per adult. Portugal itself will now join the amber list, meaning holidaymakers should NOT visit and returnees must ISOLATE for 10 days. We have therefore a bizarre situation whereby furious holidaymaker Britons in Portugal were scrambling to get back to the UK to beat the quarantine deadline and faced paying hundreds of pounds more for earlier flights – they said they felt ‘ashamed to be British’ as they raced back home from Portugal to dodge amber list restrictions with hours to spare. This meant that those back on UK soil at 4am on 8th June from Portugal are supposed to be no jeopardy whatsoever to our Country’s battle against coronavirus, but someone just a minute later from the exact same place and circumstance, or indeed family, are deemed to be a serious pandemic risk to the UK so needed to self-isolate – where’s the LOGIC, SCIENCE or BORDER CONTROL policy in any of that, eh?
Meanwhile, due to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allowance of reckless rallies and large scale traditional religious gatherings, accompanied by a scandalous lack of social distancing measures, and combined with a pitiful low vaccination rate, India experienced a devastating surge in cases towards the end of March which is believed to have been driven by the emergence of the variant. Cases in the country more than trebled from 72,330 on March 31 to 217,353 on April 15 as the situation spiralled into a humanitarian catastrophe with hospitals completely overwhelmed by Covid patients combined with inadequate life saving facilities and oxygen (daily death toll has risen to over 4000 and new daily infections to over a quarter million and had surged to 400,000 plus because of the new variant – and uncontrolled numbers of people from India are still entering the UK).
Here, AT LEAST 122 passengers arriving from Mumbai and Delhi between the end of March and April 26 WERE carrying the strain – though it was not designated a “variant of concern” until May 7. Anyone arriving from India during this period should have had to self-isolate but could have done so AT HOME (unsupervised so non-compliance very likely) rather than in a government-approved quarantine hotel (more controlled so compliance ensured)
In direct consequence to Johnson two months ago allowing the Indian stain to arrive and get a hold in the UK we found it resulted in spots where the Indian Delta variant became proportionally dominant in cases sequenced – like South Northamptonshire (76.9%), Blackburn with Darwen (55.7%), Bolton (55.3%), Bedford (53.8%), likely resulting from substantial Indian origin populations – virus infected by the thousands of visitors escaping from India during Johnson’s April’s UK open borders. Coronavirus cases in England are doubling now ever 10 days, so by 21 June we can expect to see some 15,000 reported cases a day and in another week we will see perhaps the 25,000 cases/day as previously seen at the peak of the November lockdown in England (when more than a thousand deaths were taking place each day).
Hence, we might now see some 9,000 additional unwarranted deaths for which BORIS JOHNSON will be accountable, so he should immediately be CHARGED with MANSLAUGHTER for ‘irresponsibly’ allowing-in the new Delta variant here, when this variant according to latest Imperial modelling could cause a significant THIRD wave of hospitalisations and deaths on a similar scale to the WINTER wave [The researchers say that the immune escape properties of the Delta variant would affect the magnitude of a THIRD wave MORE than assumptions about TRANSMISSIBILITY – moreover, the team estimate that the current level of transmission, the effective reproduction number (R), is approximately just 0.8 for the Alpha variant but significantly much higher at “1.5” for the Delta variant in England, with an overall “R number of around “1.4” across both variants]. The danger is that the UK R number will go through the roof if action isn’t taken
Together with the murky stench of corruption around the Tories we now have the furore over alleged Tory sleaze concerning PPE secret VIP fast-track contracts for cronies and the PM’s lobbying habits involving the Dyson texts about ventilator manufacture [which may have broken the ministerial code], but that totally ignores the elephant in the room, which is WHY was there EVER a CRISIS over these two pandemic issues in 2020 of the early days of it – and the answer is a damming indictment of recent Conservative governments, isn’t it?
YES, because some 4 years BEFORE the pandemic ever existed, it was KNOWN by government that if one came along there WOULD BE a crisis regarding PPE & Ventilators, as well as inadequate numbers of ICU beds, resulting in an unprecedented DEATH toll [indeed so far it has killed nearly one hundred and thirty thousand people in the UK] – under Exercise Cygnus the NHS and authorities had conducted a test of their joint ability to cope with a flue like pandemic and the RESULT was utter FAILURE, as the NHS could NOT actually cope [UK reaction– government made the conscious decision that the UK would do NOTHING and simply let any pandemic ‘overwhelm’ the Country (as it did!). Britain just assumed a deadly virus would cripple the NHS (the assumption that a new virus could NOT be contained is also explicitly stated in the governments pandemic strategy documents)]. The decision was taken to simply WAIT until there WAS a PANDEMIC and THEN only act to increase MORTUARY capacity. NHS hospitals, local authorities and major government departments were included in the Cygnus operation that took place in October 2016 [in office Tory PM Theresa May, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies]. Ministers were briefed on the results of Cygnus, which had revealed those significant gaps in the NHS “surge capacity” resultant in the NHS being stretched beyond breaking point. [Jeremy Hunt In 2018, became the longest-serving Health Secretary in British political history (so what’s his excuse for failure on this one, not least since the NHS already had visibility and the experience of the genetically similar SARS virus pandemic a decade BEFORE he was actually in post); later that year he then even got promoted to Foreign Secretary no less, the 3rd Great Office of State, but he now chairs the Health & Social Care Select Committee – so he is well placed to whitewash his incompetence in running the NHS, the CYGNUS fiasco, and the resulting lack of action to prepare for a pandemic, so has he direct responsibility for what is now approaching 130,000 deaths in the UK, do you think? [this May, Mr Hunt – who now admits HE was too slow to boost the NHS workforce – was already engaged in just such a COVER-UP (for example blaming the omission of testing importance in the Cygnus report for the non-suppression of Covid – when it’s results were simply ignored anyway- together with ‘collective failure’ for the Country being underprepared for a Sars like pandemic) AND he will lead (he has got HIMSELF jointly chairing) the cross-party investigation into government messaging and wider preparedness for a pandemic]’
[In a rare set of joint hearings, the Commons health committee, led by Jeremy Hunt (ex-Health Secretary), and the science committee, chaired by Greg Clark (ex-Business Secretary), are to hear from witnesses in the hope of producing a report by the spring – the pair of Conservative former ministers have announced they are to lead a rapid, cross-party investigation into the UK’s handling of the coronavirus crisis]
In another scandalous pandemic judgement matter by the current government, we have the ludicrous situation whereby it has only just finally decided that ‘Adult Care Home’ workers, looking after elderly, hugely vulnerable people, DO have to be mandatorily vaccinated to protect their residents and avoid further deaths there (particularly since PHE has reported that in 2020 (January to October) 43,398 COVID patients were sent into UK care homes in events that led to over 150,000 deaths in outbreaks potentially seeded from hospital-acquired infections) – one would have expected that basic requirement for vaccination as now available to be self-evident, but apparently not so with Johnson’s shower in charge of health (including hapless/hopeless Hancock), eh? [but bizarrely they only reached that conclusion of Covid compulsory vaccination action (or of course having an appropriate exemption) regarding England’s care home staff, after a wasteful lengthy consultation process (launched in April) – some 1.5 million people work in social care in England while shamefully more than 50,000 carers (3%) currently remain unvaccinated but more worryingly a THIRD of care home staff in some London areas have NOT had a Covid jab (workers are expected to be given 16 weeks to have the jab or face being redeployed away from front-line care or potentially lose their job)].
Moreover, a similar decision regarding hospital nurses and other NHS staff having mandatory Covid vaccination is still pending (and we will await yet another wasteful lengthy consultation process BEFORE a decision), which is even more weird when one considers that for decades it HAS been an implied and enforced requirement (i.e. via guidance not law) for doctors and healthcare staff doing certain exposure prone procedures to have an up to date Hepatitis B virus vaccination (Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver and is spread in blood and bodily fluids) and that sets a clear precedent for requiring ALL relevant hospital workers to now have the Covid-19 vaccine, considering the very high transmission risks of that particular new virus, which has caused a worldwide pandemic
The latest humiliating shock for Boris Johnson and his government came mid-June (Thurs 17th) when the LibDems no less with 56.7% of the vote scored a stunning by-election victory over the Conservatives at Chesham And Amersham which is one of the so-called ‘Blue Wall’ of Tory southern seats. This involved a huge 25% swing against the Conservatives [they lost by 8,028 votes when their majority was of over 16,000 and they had taken 55% of the vote at the last election), in what was expected to be a rock solid ultra safe seat, indeed held by them since its very inception nearly 50 years ago – a truly dramatic demonstration that the Conservatives have lost the trust and understanding of the voters at least in that constituency – it’s said that the Party has taken people across the Country for granted for far too long! This result will ring alarm bells at Tory headquarters (CCHQ) at a time when the Tories are losing their ‘well-off’ traditional voters as they focus on cementing gains in the largely BREXIT supporting ‘Red-Wall’ former Labour working class areas. (Nevertheless Johnson claims that the Tories were NOT neglecting the south in favour of the north, eh?)
Senior Tories have warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson to change course or risk the LibDems becoming the ‘natural party for home counties’, and have told him ‘30 or 40 seats’ in the south are vulnerable whence the political map does begin to change
However, that spectacular by-election result in the Chilterns will bring no comfort whatsoever to Labour nor its 2020 new leader Keir Starmer as Labour trailed in a bad fourth (behind the Greens even) with a derisory 622 votes on a turnout of 37,954 (only 1.6% of the vote instead of 5% minimum, so a £500 LOST DEPOSIT into the bargain) – and that’s on top of Labour crashing to an equally humiliating as Johnson’s loss, by-election defeat in Hartlepool last year with the seat lost to the Tories by 6,940 votes involving a swing from Labour of almost 16% – the party’s former heartland town elected a Conservative MP for the first time in 62 years(and it is only the second time in nearly 40 years that a governing party has taken a seat from the opposition).
The other week, a bitter Dominic Cummings published a blog that set out some extraordinary charges against Boris Johnson his former boss. Cummings may himself be a man of questionable integrity, but he was Johnson’s most senior adviser during a critical period of national emergency and his damning claims ought to be thoroughly investigated. There are two main claims (see below), either of which if true could be sufficient to spell the end of Johnson as Prime Minister.
Well Boris Johnson has form when it comes to breaking or being accused of breaching the ministerial code but basically he has got away with it: allegedly like when using a Downing Street press room Covid briefing to make an unprompted political attack on London labour Mayor Sadiq Khan over LfT finances (accused him of blowing a “black hole” in it by a fare freeze); or in 2019 his registration of financial interests [Mr Johnson who was not yet prime minister at the time previously fell foul of the ministerial code when the cross-party parliamentary committee for standards carried out an inquiry into registrations and found that he was late to register financial interests on two properties (three months late in registering joint ownership of a property in London in 2017, and 11 months late registering his shared interest in a property in Somerset in 2019) – the report said: “Should we conclude in future that Mr Johnson has committed any further breaches of the rules on registration, we will regard this as a matter which may call for more serious sanction”; it is also suggested that Mr Johnson may have breached the code when he exchanged WhatsApp messages with James Dyson and offered to “fix” some tax affairs as Mr Dyson’s company built ventilators to assist with the Covid response].
First claim: Dominic Cummings alleges that Johnson tried to put a stop to a government inquiry that he as Prime Minister had ordered into who leaked the cabinet decision to impose a second national lockdown last November before an official announcement. This was a highly damaging leak that resulted in a media frenzy and confused public health communications at a time when people’s lives depended on receiving clear and reliable information from the government. Cummings claims that Johnson wanted to call off the inquiry because he feared it would expose Henry Newman a special adviser to Michael Gove, and a very close friend of his fiancée Carrie Symonds, as the SOURCE. (The decision on the second lockdown last autumn was leaked and is the subject of an inquiry to find the so-called “chatty rat” who tipped off the press). Mr Simon Case CVO, the UK’s most senior civil servant, who has served as Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service since 9 September 2020, and previously served as Downing Street Permanent Secretary to Prime Minister Boris Johnson from May 2020, declined to say whether Mr Cummings (accused of being Downing Street ‘Chatty Rat’ leaker) had been cleared over that leak, as the former ally has claimed when striking back at allegations from within No 10, while Henry Newman has been the target of a whispering campaign designed to put him under suspicion of being the “chatty rat” before. In November allegations circulated to at least four newspapers said that he tried to cover his tracks by partially wiping his phone.
Regarding conservative think tank The Bow Group’s calls for an independent inquiry into Carrie Symonds’ influence in No 10 and her “possible influence” in government, as No 10 needed to clarify her position after reports in the media that she was “taking a central role in running the country” [it’s said that government policy is no longer made by the PM in Cabinet with Ministers but now by the PM in Pillow talk with Carrie Symonds!].
- Symonds *[nicknamed as ‘Princess Nuts Nuts’ OR Sir Say) is a British political activist, conservationist, and was then the new fiancée (but now third wife) of the then ‘still married’ (to his second wife, Marina Wheeler) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson. She is the first unmarried partner of a prime minister to reside at 10 Downing Street. She works as a senior advisor to ocean conservation charity Oceana and beforehand in 2018 was the Conservative Party’s head of communications for a year before she was terminated.
*[It has been claimed that Cummings’ crew of “Brexit Boys” had referred to Ms Symonds as “Princess Nuts Nuts” behind her back and by Brexit youth groups as Sir Say! – pronounced “SAIR” and a reference to the dominant character in medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones (the series follows a civil war for the Iron Throne of the continent of Westeros, fought between the rival royal and noble families and their respective supporters) so not to be confused with a real but deceased John Say, who died 1478, an English courtier, MP and Speaker of the House of Commons].
- Dominic Cummings, the brains behind Boris Johnson’s BREXIT campaign and his long time spin doctor, left his job as Johnson’s chief of staff at Number 10 Downing Street last November as Mr Johnson feared he and communications director Lee Cain as prospective new chief of staff would ‘poison the well’ if they were allowed to remain in their jobs until the New Year as Cummings for himself initially planned, after it was reported he lost a huge bitter power struggle engulfing the cabinet in a turf war between aides and Mr Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds, who was seeming acting as an unofficial SPAD (Special Advisor) – she obviously though couldn’t be a regular salaried ‘civil servant’ since her role is one of providing sexual services to the PM so she couldn’t actually be also paid as that would make her a prostitute and No 10 a brothel, wouldn’t it?
The PM’s then fiancée, is seen as a person of ‘unelected power’ as she appears to enjoy huge influence in the hiring and firing of No 10 staff and in policy making, is accused of trying to ‘run the government by WhatsApp‘ from the No11 flat, but allies of Ms Symonds have unbelievably insisted she is the victim of sexism
However, a row broke out this April over allegations that SHE ‘wanted George Eustice ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY since February 2020, sacked’ by her PM lover because she thinks that Eustice was too close to the farming lobby, so was not taking sufficient action on animal welfare (even if she’s right on the fact, what has it got to do with her who’s in post, eh?).
Reportedly, it also turns out she insisted that Allegra Stratton, a former television journalist and ‘FoC’ (Friend of Carrie) be hired in 2020 (£125,000 a year salary) to deliver press briefings from Number 10’s proposed new flash media suite, despite the official recruitment process selecting a different candidate to front the briefings but that person was nobbled to appease Ms Symonds, who wanted Ms Stratton to take the job to offset the ‘laddish’ atmosphere which she said prevailed at the time in No 10 – in the aftermath, Johnson just said, “I DIDN’T think you would find someone BETTER. Sorry, it has to be Allegra otherwise Carrie will go f******* crackers”
Beguiling Boris is even further in the mire as his Mustique holiday is being probed by the House of Commons standards watchdog – Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary standards commissioner, is looking at the PM’s declaration of a £15,000 luxury break he took with Carrie Symonds in early 2020 over claims he may have broken rules in the way he declared a new year holiday in the Caribbean, which he registered as had been provide by the Conservative party donor David Ross, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, but in February 2020 a spokesman for Ross reported that David Ross did NOT pay any monies whatsoever for this – so WHO did and WHAT was promised or expected in return for such generosity, eh?
Just when it looked as if things couldn’t get worse for Boris Johnson’s reputation and financial management, we find out that he had been served with a CCJ ( County court judgment), as first revealed by Private Eye, over a £535 unpaid debt [A County court judgment puts the Prime Minister at potential risk of a bad credit rating and potential enforcement action by bailiffs arriving at Downing Street.]
- The official register of county court judgments for England and Wales shows that Johnson had a judgment against him in October last year (so well over 30 days) over an unpaid debt of £535. The register does NOT give details of to WHOM the debt is owed.
- The judgment, issued on 26 October, is for the online county court, whereby people owed a debt can seek recompense through a web-based form, rather than having to attend court. It is listed as an “unsatisfied record”, meaning it had STILL not been paid.
- County court judgments are a LATE point in a process of seeking redress for a debt, indicating the Prime Minister would most likely have been contacted via post SEVERAL TIMES earlier, asking him to repay the debt.
- Unless a debt incurring a county court judgment is paid within 30 days, it is placed on someone’s CREDIT record for six years, making it much more difficult to get loans or mortgages. A creditor can also apply to the County Court for a bailiff to collect the debt or even apply to the High Court for enforcement officers to attend Johnson the First Lord of the Treasury in Downing Street and recover money OR remove goods.
The news will increase scrutiny of how Johnson was able to afford to pay for a refurbishment of his Downing Street flat ( reportedly cost up to £200,000) for which he is believed to have paid partly via a loan. (The Electoral Commission of course has already begun an inquiry into how the work was funded, saying there were “reasonable grounds” to suspect multiple offences may have been committed).
The relatively small amount of the debt for which the judgment was issued indicates it is likely to have happened through disorganisation rather than an inability to pay. (However, Johnson has previously had to apologise to MPs for the late declaration of more than £52,000 in income).
It turns out that Yvonne Hobbs, 59 from Leicestershire is a Covid conspiracy theorist who won a county court judgment against Boris Johnson for ‘defaming her’ is an is ‘an eccentric loner’ according to her neighbours – Downing Street as at 13 May has had the claim struck out. Downing Street believes the claim is completely bogus and the CCJ should not have been issued [Defamation cases are meant to be dealt with by senior judges in the High Court, so questions will be asked about why the claim was approved by the online small claims court].
2. Second claim: Dominic Cummings also says that the prime minister sought to get donors to pay for £58,000 of renovations to his Downing Street flat in plans that were “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations”. Like all prime ministers, Johnson has a £30,000 annual allowance for the upkeep and refurbishment of his official residence under government rules, but it seems this generous allowance was not enough for Carrie Symonds’ unctuous snobby plans and demands for the costly luxury refurbishment of his four-bedroomed Downing Street flat accommodation at No11 (said to have cost as much as £200,000 as the couple apparently wanted to transform the flat from Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May’s “John Lewis furniture nightmare” (as described by the then pregnant Ms Symonds who is said to have the taste for Champaign but the budget for Lemonade nevertheless spearheaded the opulent refurbishment) into a “high society haven” (even though John Lewis furniture is aspirational and out of reach for very many people in this country so the pair somewhat insult 90% of British people while the flat latest revamp included wallpaper that cost £840 a roll and a sofa that set him back £9,800 and when also she used the services of mega stars customers and royalty connected leading interior design guru Lulu Lytle, who co-founded the exclusive decorating company Sloane Britain (based on London’s ultimate design street, Pimlico Road) – furthermore an astounding previous total of £200,000 had been spent on just refurbishing, the four-bedroom residence alone by former leaders over the past 24 years). It’s further alleged that Tory donor Lord David Brownlow of Shurlock Row [a British entrepreneur, philanthropist, and one of the Tory Party’s biggest donors (giving the party £714,690 in 2017 – given a life peerage two years later by Theresa May in 2019), also Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party between 2017 and 2020] said he had given £58,000 to cover payments “the party has already made”). It is now said that Boris Johnson was shamed into paying the £58,000 bill for the Downing Street refurbishment himself after the Tory Party settled it then tried to disguise the truth and indeed Johnson has since stated that he has actually personally met the cost of the redecoration without saying when (rumoured to be perhaps a commercial loan AND a No 10 aide who remains loyal to Johnson said simply: “The bottom line is that he can’t afford to be prime minister because despite his £150,000 a year salary and other earnings/income (so just scraping by really on £157,372 pay plus £23,514 in book royalties equalling some £181 thousand in total – then also he owns a 20% stake in a Somerset property and 50% in a London home with a combined rental income of at least £10,000) it isn’t enough” [for ‘Bonking Boris’ you see it’s an expensive business having two ex-wives, supporting four of his six legitimate children (sources say) and perhaps begetting an unspecified number of other children from multiple rumoured extramarital affairs, as well as running a spendthrift mistress/now fiancée with expensive tastes who he currently resides with in Downing Street together with his one year old boy love child. However, he now faces months of painful inquiries, while the Tory party itself is currently under investigation (has been since March) by the Electoral Commission over the works the PM carried out to No11, whether a donation it received to initially pay the bill was appropriately declared and has said there were “reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred” (Boris Johnson ‘broke electoral law’ IF he FAILED to DECLARE any donation for flat makeover within one month when the claims are that the Conservative Party secretly approved and secretly paid the £58,000 bill as long as nine months ago – the payment were then covered by a Tory donor, according to a leaked email).
Whereby now it’s interesting to find that in fact BREXIT backing tycoon William Hobhouse and his heiress wife were two major shareholders in the posh firm Sloane Britain when Carrie and Boris employed its expensive services in their flat’s luxury makeover. It turns out though that they are also embroiled in the current objectionable system whereby wealthy bankrolling individuals can buy access to government Ministers and entitlement to have a domineering voice on the leader’s credentials – the Hobhouses being past Conservative and Vote Leave Party donors of over £200,000 no less -including his £63,000 to Tory HQ in 2009 and £23,500 to the Vote Leave campaign in 2016, with his wife herself donating another £131,400 to the Tories between 2009 and 2014.
For someone who has absolutely nothing to hide, it seems strange that millionaire Hobhouse, who of course stood to benefit from the cash paid for costly flat makeover, is somewhat shy of being involved in the inquiry of the PM’s conduct, or any kind of investigation, and has tried to obliterate his involvement and indeed erase his links with Sloane by quitting his role after 6 years when questions first surfaced two months ago about the costly refurbishment and no such association with it appear on his CV either despite numerous other roles being included. Furthermore his resignation as a Director of Sloane was recorded by Companies House just two days AFTER it emerged that the Electoral Commission itself was probing how the gilded and pricey flat makeover was paid for, eh? Besides, it is unknown if or to who he transferred his shares upon his resignation from the company.
Regarding then the sordid matter of UK Party Funding and big money influence in politics, we have seen scandal after scandal over the years including Labour’s ‘Cash for Honours’ crisis, and the Liberal Democrats being caught arranging a private meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury for a potentially illegal donor, haven’t we? It has been suggested by a House of Lords senior appointee that many donors would expect an honour in return for their finance and that you cannot get away from the fact that the word ‘peerage’ is connected to LARGE donations [there’s no such thing as a free lunch as something has to be promised in return, eh?].
Furthermore regarding the Prime Minister, a few weeks ago in an increasingly vitriolic and damaging revenge spat by the former top aide Dominic Cummings, who knows where all the bodies are buried, suggested the government was too slow to close the borders when the PANDEMIC started. He said the scientific consensus that travel bans would not help prevent the spread of Covid-19 was flawed [he said in response to a tweet about how Vietnam had protected its borders it was a “very important issue re learning from the disaster”].
Mr Cummings himself has now given evidence last month to a joint committee of MPs investigating the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis and according to for example Sunday Times reports, he was preparing a bombshell dossier that attempts to blame the Prime Minister for thousands of deaths during the pandemic, claiming he had pushed the prime minister hard without success to lock down SOONER in the autumn and he has lots of evidence that shows that the PMs decision to delay led to devastating consequences. In the latest allegation made in the Daily Mail (unattributed but could be Cummings) the PM is accused of telling aides he would rather let coronavirus “rip” than impose a second lockdown, and a growing number of sources were reported to have told how Mr Johnson on more than one occasion said he was prepared to let “bodies pile high” rather than order a third shutdown, but predictably the Prime Minister said that allegation was “total rubbish” and unsurprisingly publicly denies the phrase was uttered at all, while Downing Street said the allegations are “gross distortions” of the Prime Minister’s position last year. Contradicting that, Robert Preston Political Editor of ITV News said that two separate people had corroborated the claims to him and has suggested there are at least three sources who allegedly heard Johnson make the comment. . In terms of credibility also, and if is it actually true (?) the story was written-up originally by renowned political journalist Simon Walters, winner of four British Press Awards, and now assistant editor at the Daily Mail (so it would be wise to take it seriously and take into account as well that Boris Johnson is the person who ‘inappropriately’ joked in early March last year during a conference call with over 60 manufacturing businesses about the effort to procure & build 20,000 additional more ventilators in such a short time frame being a scheme to be called “Operation Last Gasp”). Britain has suffered one of the worst death rates in the world from Covid-19, with repeated delays and dithering over the introduction of lockdown measures blamed, and reportedly now allies say Dominic Cummings, in revenge for his political demise orchestrated by Boris Johnson’s concubine (but now upgraded to wife in a secret May bank holiday wedding) Carrie Symonds, planned to ‘napalm’ Boris (a threat he carried out to the full) at the parliamentary committee hearing on the Wednesday of end of May week, when the former adviser was grilled by MPs over the government’s handling of Covid-19. He emerged as a credible witness after an uncharacteristic mea culpa (an acknowledgement of his fault or error) as he regretted not “hitting the panic button” earlier over a flawed initial reaction to the coronavirus outbreak which could have cost 500,000 lives. Though as expected, there was a catalogue of criticism of Johnson when Cummings regarded him as “unfit for the job” and it was “completely crackers” he had become prime minister.
Apparently at the outset in February 2020 (according to Cummings) Johnson dismissed Covid as just a “scare story” like the “new swine flu” and, incredibly, even suggested he should be injected with the virus live on television by Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer. He said Johnson changed his mind 10 times a day and contradicted his own policy day after day; he was “like a shopping trolley” crashing from one side of the aisle to the other.
His most serious charge was that Johnson overruled his advisers to delay last autumn’s second lockdown. This really matters because more people died in the second wave than the first and Cummings launched a tirade against his former boss about the Government originally intention to let coronavirus spread through the country and just rip through the community in an attempt to build “herd immunity” (the initial Covid strategy was ‘herd immunity by September’ and the idea was only abandoned in early March after Downing Street was warned it would lead to a “catastrophe”). No 10 has repeatedly denied it pursued the controversial tactic of allowing Covid-19 to spread unchecked whence the loyal liars have of course already been trotted out in support of Johnson to denied Dominic Cummings’ claim that the government originally tried to pursue a “herd immunity” strategy in response to Covid-19 – like Home Secretary, Priti Patel, who insisted it had “absolutely not” been the original policy, but is one who owed Boris big time for keeping her in office after she had been found by Standards chief Sir Alex Allan to have broken the ministerial code. Then also there’s Dr Jenny Harries Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England from June 2019 to April 2021 who said she had “never been in a government meeting where herd immunity was put forward as a mechanism of control” for the pandemic, but is one who also owes Johnson a massive favour for her promotion effective 1 April 2021, when she was appointed as the first chief executive of the new UK Health Security Agency, which combines Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace [that despite her causing massive public confusion over the benefits of facemasks when government rules stated masks must be worn on public transport, in hospitals and in many shops, as well as leisure facilities such as cinemas (but not pubs or restaurants), eh?]
Those of us who have followed and written about the pandemic during the past year know full well that herd immunity WAS INDEED government official policy and was clearly stated at the time (to the aghast of the WHO, indeed), so how these storytellers expect to be believed is now incredible and completely baffling!
Dominic Cummings has equally blasted claims to the contrary about a herd immunity strategy by Health Secretary Matt Hancock so has accused him of spreading “bull****” – and indeed Cummings’ most damning remarks were reserved for the health secretary, whom he accused of being “completely incapable of doing the job”. Remarkably, Cummings said there were at least 15-20 times when Hancock should have been fired, a view he claimed was shared by the then cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill. He accused Hancock of repeatedly lying in meetings (a charge the health secretary has denied) and mishandling pandemic planning, personal protective equipment and mass testing; and wrongly promising Johnson hospital patients would be tested for Covid before being discharged to care homes [ominously for Hancock, Johnson did not rush to his defence. Cummings’ suspicion that he was kept in post so he could become the fall guy might come to pass]
As well Cummings claimed lockdowns could have been avoided altogether “if we’d had the right preparations and competent people in charge”. He said if he himself had had the power, there would have been a “serious border policy”, masks would have been compulsory and Health Secretary Matt Hancock would have been fired (Mr Cummings also claimed Boris Johnson had come close to removing Mr Hancock in April – which Downing Street has declined to deny)
[Dominic Cummings has now publicly blown up three Tory leaders under whom he has worked – Iain DuncanSmith, David Cameron and now Boris Johnson]
Regarding delay in lockdown Mr Cummings said the Government’s delay in locking down in March 2020 and lack of action plan was similar to 1996 disaster film Independence Day, in which the US is devastated by a surprise alien invasion, and he claimed that one top official told him ‘we are absolutely f******’. Cummings told the committee on the Wednesday morning he felt “mounting panic” about the response in the early days of the pandemic and was pushing on March 11 and 12 for the Government to announce that individuals should stay at home if they had symptoms and households should quarantine. But he said there was “push back from within the system” and “me and others were realising at this point the system is basically delaying announcing all of these things because there’s not a proper plan in place”. He claimed that the Cabinet Office is ‘terrifyingly s***’ and that there were ‘no plans’. He also alleged that coronavirus meetings on March 12, 2020, got ‘derailed’ by then-President Trump’s request for the UK to join a bombing campaign in the Middle East, and Boris Johnson’s girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, going ‘completely crackers’ over a media story about the couple’s dog. Mr Cummings also told MPs that on March 13 the “second most powerful official in the country” at the time, Helen MacNamara, who was Deputy Cabinet Secretary, said ‘there is no plan – we’re in huge trouble’. Mr Cummings said she told him: “I think we are absolutely f*****, I think this country is headed for disaster, I think we’re going to kill thousands of people.” Dominic Cummings said he pressed Boris Johnson in September to impose a second lockdown but claims the Prime Minister ignored advice. “He wasn’t taking any advice, he was just making his own decisions, he was going to ignore the advice – “formal Cabinet wasn’t involved or asked – no Cabinet meeting to discuss it, or if it was, it was a purely Potemkin exercise.” i.e. fraudulent or counterfeit (Dominic Cummings said Boris Johnson favoured the economic arguments for not imposing a second lockdown and for the Prime Minister the economic arguments were outweighing everything. Johnson was not persuaded there needed to be a circuit-breaker lockdown in September and decided to just “hit and hope” – Cummings told the committee that during meetings in September Sage scientists and England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance had said that there needed to be a two-week lockdown but despite modelling showing the NHS was going to get “smashed again” Mr Johnson decided not to lock down)
Furthermore, Dominic Cummings said Government talk of putting a shield around care homes was “complete nonsense”. He said: “We were told categorically in March that people would be tested before they went back to homes, we only subsequently found out that that hadn’t happened. “Now while the Government rhetoric was we have put a shield around care homes and blah blah blah, it was complete nonsense. “Quite the opposite of putting a shield around them, we sent people with Covid back to the care homes.” However Downing Street has defended its handling of care homes during the coronavirus crisis after the scathing criticism and the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “With regard to care homes, we’ve always been guided by the latest advice at that time and we’ve taken a number of steps to protect care home residents and those being discharged from hospitals into care homes.”
The former chief aide to the PM told the committee also said the “Government kind of collapsed” when Boris Johnson became ill with coronavirus. “In lots of ways, the whole core of Government fundamentally fell apart – Mr Cummings claimed that there was a “fundamental problem” with who in Government was responsible for things” He also accused Matt Hancock of “criminal, disgraceful behaviour” by interfering with the test and trace system to hit his “stupid” 100,000 daily target while Boris Johnson was in hospital. In his opinion, disastrously, the Secretary of State had made, while the Prime Minister was on his near death bed, his pledge to do 100,000 by the end of April,” he said “This was an incredibly stupid thing to do because we already had that goal internally”)
‘PM never wanted a proper border policy’ Dominic Cummings has claimed Boris Johnson never wanted a serious border policy to combat coronavirus as he sought to prioritise the travel industry.
The former chief aide said the advice before April last year “in retrospect was obviously completely wrong”, including that it was “racist” to close borders. He claimed that then changed, telling the committee: “After April, though, it’s a completely different story, once we’ve switched to plan B. “Fundamentally, there was no proper border policy because the Prime Minister never wanted a proper border policy. “He claimed repeatedly in meeting after meeting I and others said all we have to do is download the Singapore or Taiwan documents in English and impose them here. “We’re imposing all of these restrictions on people domestically but people can see that everyone is coming in from infected areas, it’s madness, it’s undermining the whole message that we should take it seriously. “At that point he was back to, ‘lockdown was all a terrible mistake, I should’ve been the mayor of Jaws, we should never have done lockdown 1, the travel industry will all be destroyed if we bring in a serious border policy’. “To which, of course, some of us said there’s not going to be a tourism industry in the autumn if we have a second wave, the whole logic was completely wrong.” Mr Cummings later said he thinks the border policy is still inadequate [the utter evidence of that is clearly now clear as it transpires that a maritime loophole allowed some 600 cruise ship workers from India to fly here and avoid compulsory hotel quarantine [it was only closed after worried civil servants raised the alarm, amid fears that the Indian Covid variant will delay lockdown ending – those 600 cruise ship employees travelled from “red-list” India through Heathrow on May 13 and 14 and were NOT put into immediate ten-day isolation at hotels, and instead, the arrivals — mostly Indian nationals with some Filipinos — were classed as seafarers; and as such, they were allowed to go to ports, including Southampton, under a rule designed to stop Naval ratings having to quarantine. However, the loophole was shut on May 19 after concerns were raised with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps by furious civil servants. Cruise crew travelling from red-list countries such as India must NOW quarantine in airport hotels]. So in reality there’s ‘NO PROPER CONTROL OF OUR BORDERS’ and it’s scandalous and shocking that such a loophole ever existed which could mean we are facing lockdown for even longer, eh?.
Johnson’s salary (five times the national average) puts him close to the top 1 per cent of UK earners while also he and his family live rent-free in the No 11 Downing Street flat, though he must pay tax (say £7,000 for electricity, heating and maintenance) on some of the bills, paid for his residence out of his ministerial salary, but he can’t be asked to pay more than about £8,000 a year (capped you see at 10% of his ministerial salary). He also has to pay for his own and Carrie’s food sent up from Downing Street’s kitchen and is presented with a bill. In addition to getting his Downing Street flat free together with the allowance of up to £30,000 a year for refurbishing it, he also has as well unlimited use of the country house Chequers in Buckinghamshire.
Unlike say men on the minimum wage, a subdued ‘asset rich/cash poor‘ Boris Johnson is said to be worried about money and the ability to afford childcare so he is worried he can’t afford a Nanny (required for ONE young boy indeed, when most UK parents look after their multiple own children without one?) [top whack that would set him back say just £2,500 pa when it was revealed in March that he spent around half that on gourmet food from an organic farm shop – perhaps he is using a food bank now he’s skint, eh? His personal trainer charges £165/hour and now Johnson’s net worth is a mere £3million or so, hence he’s really on his uppers, isn’t he?] – in a fresh May storm an unnamed but annoyed Tory donor claims that he was approached to help Johnson out financially and actually fund his new son’s nanny, indeed.
Regarding Boris Johnson’s previous income:
- while an MP Johnson raked in £275,000 from his Daily Telegraph column and earned plenty from other speaking engagements. In total, he was bringing in more than £350,000 annually.
- while working as Foreign Secretary in 2017 there were reports Jonson felt his salary of £141,405 a year was not enough to live on.
- now PM he saw his income drop by more than 50% since when he became PM he brings in £150,000 a year salary, but does not receive the amount in full due to various government bills and taxes attached to the job.
Moreover, it has just come to light that a shock £350,000 tax bill may have triggered Boris Johnson’s cash crisis? That all stems from a year of prolific — and lucrative — public speaking and writing after his resignation from Theresa May’s Cabinet as foreign secretary on July 9, 2018 to the day he marched triumphantly back in as Prime Minister on July 23, 2019. In the space of just over 12 months the future PM pulled in £797,263 — putting him firmly inside the 45 per cent tax bracket for most of his extra-parliamentary earnings, with over half of his sudden windfall came from the after-dinner speaking circuit. Boris was flown to Dublin, New York, New Delhi, and Geneva by banks and corporations.
A single speaking engagement in Delhi alone earned him a fee of £122,900 from media firm India Today, New Delhi, which also paid for flights and accommodation then later he got some £38,250 plus VAT for speaking to Citigroup, Canary Wharf and £28,900 plus travel and accommodation for a speech to KNect365.
He pocketed £94,508 plus expenses from GoldenTree Asset Management, Park Avenue, New York for flying to the United States and a speech to Pendulum Events & Training in Dublin earned him £51,250 andanother £25,297.62 plus transport expenses giving a speech for Banque Pictet & Cie SA, Geneva. £42,580 plus transport provided for him and member of his staff from Swiss Economic Forum AG, for speech.
So ALTOGETHER Mr Johnson trousered £450,475 total plus expenses from just NINE paid speaking engagements between November 8 2018 and May 24 2019
As a former journalist he also cashed in on the demand from people to read his views as speculation mounted that he might succeed Mrs May. He made £295,790 from columns and articles. His weekly piece for the Telegraph took him 10 hours a month to write and netted £22,916 each month — a rate of £2,291 an hour.
All of Mr Johnson’s extra-parliamentary earnings were declared in the register of members’ financial interests. But senior Tories think the sudden bulge in his INCOME left him having to shoulder a big tax demand the following year, and as a Tory grandee said
“Boris is famously chaotic with money — it is not hard to imagine him spending the money and then finding out he owes an absolute fortune in income tax to the Treasury”. “It would certainly explain why within months of arriving at Downing Street he is said to have been complaining that he could not afford to live on a Prime Minister’s salary and started asking donors to pay for the redecoration of his flat.”
Two tax experts told the Standard newspaper that Mr Johnson would have been liable for a total of more than £350,000 — which is MORE than TWICE the £157,372 salary that Mr Johnson receives as PM.
[Kevin Sefton, CEO of untied, the personal tax app, said Mr Johnson’s extra tax and national insurance bill would have been around £270,585 in the year 2018-19, and then another £103,403.11 the following year.
“It’s a hefty bill,” he commented, adding that HM Revenue & Customs would respond to pleas of hardship by deferring payments or accepting instalments.
BOOK ROYALTY PAYMENTS
September 8, 2018 £8,968.27
October 23, 2018 £491.75
December 12, 2018 £525.12 for Hungarian subrights
December 19, 2018 £435.72 for Ukrainian subrights
January 16, 2019 £909.78 for US subrights
March 21, 2019 £739.98.
March 28, 2019 £4,684.62
April 11, 2019 £498.01
May 1, 2019 £33.45 for French royalties
May 16, 2019 £669.27 for Czech royalties
June 12, 2019 £960.63 for Castilian royalties
June 12, 2019, £870.04 for Dutch subrights
July 10, 2019 £706.88 for US royalties
Marilyn McKeever, a tax partner at leading law firm BDB Pitmans, said that the bulge in Mr Johnson’s earning power would have made tax planning more difficult. “Self-employed people are asked to pay half their expected tax bill ‘on account’, that is, in advance. But in his case this would have been based on his earnings for the year he was Foreign Secretary, which was far less.
“So on January 31, 2020 he would probably have been asked not only to pay most of the money he owed for the 2018-19 year, but also half as much again ‘on account’ for the following year.”
She said Mr Johnson’s accountant would have advised him to put 45 per cent of his extra income aside for tax, but added: “That assumes his accountant was kept up to date about what Mr Johnson was earning.”
If Mr Johnson was caught out by an unexpected tax bill that dwarfed his official salary, it could explain why he got into so much hot water by trying to offload his expenses while living at No 10. He discussed setting up a trust so that donors would pay for a refurbishment of his free flat above 11 Downing Street.
Recently it was reported that potential donors were approached for gifts of cash to fund a nanny and a personal trainer. No 10 has not properly denied the claim, simply responding: “The Prime Minister paid for all his childcare.”
NEWSPAPER COLUMNS & ARTICLES
From July 2018 each month £22,916.66 for writing weekly Telegraph column
(until July 2019 when he quit as foreign secretary and when he became PM)
September 2018 £800, Spectator article
October 2018 £2,000 from Associated Newspapers Ltd
November 2018 £1,000 from News UK for an article
December 2018 £350, Spectator
February 2019 £376.05 from The Washington Post
March 2019 £739.98 royalties for reprinting old articles
July 15, 2019 final payment of £15,524.52 from the Telegraph
From January 25, 2018 rental income of “more than £10,000” a year from a property in Somerset.
Asked if Mr Johnson had been taken by surprise by a tax bill, his spokeswoman declined to comment “on personal matters” but said the PM “pays his taxes in full”.
The register of interests reveals that Mr Johnson continues to receive royalties from his 11 books and income from property.