James O'Brien: Press 'conned' you that Partygate doesn't matter, I think it's worked

13 May 2022, 11:17 | Updated: 13 May 2022, 11:27

James O'Brien: Press 'massively conned' you that Partygate doesn't matter, I think it's worked
James O'Brien: Press 'massively conned' you that Partygate doesn't matter, I think it's worked. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Tim Dodd

James O'Brien argues sections of the media have "massively conned" the public into thinking that it doesn't matter that "the only Covid law-making address in the country has become the biggest Covid law-breaking address... arguably in the world".

It comes after the number of Partygate fines issued by the Met doubled yesterday, though Boris Johnson is not thought to be among the new set issued.

More than 100 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have now been handed out in total - more than 50 additional fines since April 12.

James said: "I think the juxtaposition of words that best expresses just how appalling this situation is, is this.

"It's the fact that the address if you like, Downing St, has become probably the biggest Covid law-breaking address in the country.

"The only Covid law-making address in the country has become the biggest Covid law-breaking address in the country."

James said the Daily Mail "desperately tried to tell you that it didn't matter, all of the parties in Downing St".

"The reason why none of it mattered was because there was a war on," he said.

Read more: Boris and Rishi say sorry over Partygate fines but insist they won't quit

"They even had a front page that said 'Don't they know there's war on?', in response to questions about how the hell could the only Covid law-making address in the country become the biggest Covid law-breaking address in the country.

"But that didn't work, that was a rare experience for the client media... So they resurrected the Keir Starmer curry story, the beer story about Keir Starmer having dinner after a day's campaigning in Durham.

"And they didn't just resurrect it, they moved within days of saying 'don't they know there's a war on', to dedicating 9 or 10 front pages to Keir Starmer's dinner, because it hadn't worked."

Read more: Boris brushes off claims he's acting 'dishonourably' by not resigning after Starmer pledge

James continued: "So you didn't fall for the lie that law breaking in Downing St didn't matter, so then they moved to plan B, which is 'we need to pretend that Keir Starmer's just as bad'."

The final part of this plan, James said, was to convince those who voted for Boris Johnson to believe that what Keir Starmer had done was "in any way comparable" to partygate.

"I think that worked," James said.

"I think they've pulled off another massive con on the British people."

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