Monday, 30 September 2019

Is Boris Johnson "Thigh Gate" accusation a "dead cat on the table"

I am not sure what to make of the claim  Boris Johnson has been accused of squeezing the thighs of two women.

Journalist Charlotte Edwards told the Sunday Times the Prime Minister had put his hand “high” up her leg.

She said he had "enough inner flesh beneath his fingers" to make her "sit suddenly upright".

Ms Edwardes said she later recounted the tale to another guest at the same lunch, who said: “Oh God, he did exactly the same to me.”

The alleged incident took place at the offices of the Spectator magazine just after he took over as editor in 1999.

Ms Edwardes wrote: "I’m seated on Johnson’s right; on his left is a young woman I know.

"More wine is poured; more wine is drunk. Under the table I feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh. He gives it a squeeze. His hand is high up my leg and he has enough inner flesh beneath his fingers to make me sit suddenly upright.”

She also said he referred to Marina Wheeler as his “current wife.”

Mr Johnson had married Ms Wheeler six years earlier in 1993.

Downing Street declined to comment, according to The Mirror .

Asked if Boris Johnson had questions to answer about squeezing a female journalist’s thigh, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “No.

"The thing about Boris is that firstly, we are concentrating on the things people really want us to deliver on.

"And of course there’s always lots of other stories in papers but we’re concentrating on things that are our real priorities.

"And the other thing I’d say is Boris has never lectured other people about their private lives.

"And I think we should concentrate on delivering on what we are in politics for which in my view is to serve the citizens of this country.”

But Labour's Shadow Women and Equalities minister Dawn Butler said it was "shockin

It's  what  Women I worked with used to warn new recruits about a male coleagur as "having wandering hands".

Former Defence secretary Michael   Fallon who was identified s the cabinet minister who repeatedly touched the broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee at a dinner in 2002 – though Hartley-Brewer herself played down the incident, saying she was not “remotely distressed”.
Though she must have known what the likely repercussions were.

I'm not playing down the accusations because it surely despicable behaviour but it is worrying if someone made a accusation  that is 20 years ago whether it is true or not, could end someones career , unless there was evidence that it had been subsequently repeated.

However one wonders if this is not a  "dead cat on the table"  if not actually by design a distraction from other damaging accusations.
"In a 2013 article for The Daily Telegraph , Boris Johnson noted that one of Crosby's tactics when losing an argument because the facts are against you was to do the equivalent of "throwing a dead cat on the table": bring up an issue you want to talk about that draws widespread attention from the populace, forcing opponents to also talk about your new issue instead of the previous issue

News that avery real Boris Johnson has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to assess whether he should be investigated for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office while he was mayor of London.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) said in a statement that the authority’s monitoring officer had recorded a “conduct matter” against the Prime Minister over allegations the businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri received favourable treatment because of her friendship with him.
“A ‘conduct matter’ exists where there is information that indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed,” the statement said.
“It does not mean that this is proved in any way. The IOPC will now consider if it is necessary for the matter to be investigated.”
The issue has been referred to the IOPC, which deals with complaints against police forces in England and Wales, because Mr Johnson at the time held the post equivalent to a police and crime commissioner.
Mr Johnson, who denies any wrongdoing, has previously said that he will co-operate with any investigation into his links with Ms Arcuri by the London Assembly.
The move is another potential setback for the Prime Minister at the end of a tumultuous week which saw the Supreme Court rule that his controversial decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks was unlawful.
It follows a report by The Sunday Times that Ms Arcuri, an American who moved to London seven years ago, was given £126,000 in public money and was treated to privileged access to three foreign trade missions led by Mr Johnson while he was mayor.
The Government has since frozen a £100,000 grant to Ms Arcuri's company, Hacker House, pending a review. It is facing embarrassing questions about the verification process carried out before awarding the money.
It could be that  "Thigh Gate" would prove to be less damaging to Johnson than actually being found guilty of misconduct in public office .
Surely the time for Charlotte Edwards to tell us of these accusation  was when Hartley-Brewer made hers.


Gwyn Isaac said...

Trump, we all know which part of the female anatomy he gropes, may think that his English protegé, Borisconi, is something of a wimp by going for thighs....Both men are Weinsteinian sexual assaulters. In the play, Bitter Wheat, in London this Summer John Malkovich brilliantly played a Weinstein character. I wonder if he would be interested in playing BJ?

Bigstuff said...