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It’s the worst of all possible outcomes. Nearly two months into the ill-judged police inquiry into Partygate, Scotland Yard has announced an initial tranche of 20 fixed penalty notices to Downing Street staff deemed to have broken Covid rules.

Officers won’t say who they’re being sent to. Those being fined have not yet been informed. And, most depressingly of all, this is only the first stage of the investigation.

As usual when the police venture into politics, they have lost all sense of proportion. God alone knows how long this pointless fiasco will take – and how much it will cost.

Met Police have announced they will issue 20 fines over Downing Street parties that breached lockdown rules, but they have not revealed who has been fined

Met Police have announced they will issue 20 fines over Downing Street parties that breached lockdown rules, but they have not revealed who has been fined

Met Police have announced they will issue 20 fines over Downing Street parties that breached lockdown rules, but they have not revealed who has been fined

Legally, they are dealing with trivial matters. Yet the Met treats it like some sort of major corruption inquiry, squandering endless man hours and precious resources on offences akin to parking violations.

Of course, the Mail doesn’t condone rule-breaking. But these were mainly young people working closely under intense pressure to cope with the worst health and economic crisis in living memory.

Meanwhile, as the police faff around in Downing Street, a knife-crime epidemic runs riot in our major cities, detection rates atrophy and burglars go about their business virtually uncontested.

To the BBC and much of the Westminster bubble, Partygate is a dog-whistle issue. For the rest of us it is yesterday’s news.

Every day the police dawdle is another day of delay for the publication of the Sue Gray report into the culture and conduct that allowed these imprudent gatherings.

That will tell us all we need to know and finally allow us to move on from this interminable affair.

Precious monarchy

A year on from his sad passing, the Duke of Edinburgh finally received the farewell he deserved.

In contrast to his scaled-back funeral, when the Queen sat in lonely isolation to comply with Covid regulations, his memorial service was thronged.

Tears were shed. But this was a celebration of a remarkable life – long and well-lived.

Prince Philip changed countless lives for the better and was the embodiment of duty and patriotism. He was also a model consort to the Queen, subsuming personal ambition to public service.

At 95, Her Majesty inevitably grows frailer. Some wonder whether this will prove to be her last major public engagement.

But, dutiful and dignified, she still unites the nation as no other. With questions being asked about the monarchy’s future, she reminds us what a precious institution it is – and what we stand to lose without it.

Twisted priorities

They have fled Putin’s bombs and bullets with virtually nothing. Yet traumatised, displaced Ukrainians are forced to jump through hoops to reach safety in Britain.

Visa forms, biometrics, security checks… the hurdles the exhausted evacuees must overcome to get sanctuary verge on callous. So far, just 2,000 have been given permission to stay with host families.

Compare that with the 3,000 Channel migrants who reached our shores in March alone. Overwhelming healthy young men seeking a new life where work and benefits are easier to obtain, they were immediately put up in hotels at taxpayers’ expense.

Isn’t it time the Government prioritised genuine refugees over economic migrants? 

  • Remember when the prophets of doom warned Brexit would decimate the City of London, leading to an exodus of 100,000 jobs? The reality is that just 7,000 posts have gone to Europe’s financial backwaters – with thousands more having been created. Contrary to the scaremongering of swivel-eyed Remainers, post-EU Britain continues to be the country in which the world wants to do business.

Source: dailymail

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