However, it would surely not be acceptable, even in our ever-more degraded political culture, for the prime minister of the day to have to stand trial in court. There could be no argument that the public would care then. In effect, Mr Johnson is in the preliminary stages of the British equivalent of a US-style impeachment, but without the political dimension that saved Donald Trump. Mr Johnson’s future may be decided in the courts, not the Commons.
That indeed may prove to be the eventual outcome of the Electoral Commission’s investigation into the funding of the refurbishment of the prime minister’s quarters. Although Mr Johnson has denied any wrongdoing, and the government has insisted the prime minister met all costs of the makeover “personally”. Downing Street has said Mr Johnson will cooperate with the Electoral Commission’s inquiry, but has said the investigation is “a specific matter for the Conservative Party”.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies