IT is no longer a question of “misleading”Parliament, it is no longer a question of an off- the-cuff, cheese-and-wine, work-related event. Boris Johnson lied in his teeth to Parliament and to the public.

The photographs don’t lie. He has been condemned straight from the mouths of some of the horses who were at the regularly-held parties, who claim that he knew what was going on and did nothing to stop them. Indeed, on occasions he took part in them.

It is shocking to reflect that while the desks and bins of No. 10 were littered and overflowing with empty bottles of booze, heartbroken families were not able to comfort their dying relatives.

It is appalling that security and cleaning staff were treated with contempt by Downing Street staff. The Prime Minister can duck and dive and try to wheedle out of his predicament – but trust, once lost, is almost impossible to regain.

It is time for Mr Johnson to do the decent thing and throw his last party at Downing Street; a leaving party.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.



YOUR Westminster Editor Hannah Rodger’s article (“Can British politics sink any lower than this No.10 cesspit?”, May 25) cuts straight to the question I’ve been asking myself since the numerous scandals about Boris Johnson started to emerge.

Just what is the hold he has over most Conservative MPs?

Yes, he won a huge majority at the general election in December 2019, based on such sound-bites as “Get Brexit Done” and “oven-ready deal”, which have turned out to be falsehoods as he seeks to rewrite parts of the deal he signed with the EU.

Before there were that false claims about the financial benefits that Brexit would bring to the National Health Service.

Given Johnson’ previous compulsive lying, how can we believe that his version of recent events in Downing Street (“I didn’t realise that it wasn’t a work event”)?

And his contrition doesn’t cut it with me; it is insincere and I simply don’t believe him.

The continued support of his parliamentary party demeans themselves, Parliament and democracy; their message to us is that it is okay to lie.

Willie Towers, Alford, Aberdeenshire.



THE windfall tax finally emerges, but it is too little, too late, and goes nowhere near far enough.

What about the large corporations making billions – are they to remain with shareholders, while many households struggle? What about the price discrimination between those on pre-payment meters and those who pay by direct debt? Didn’t this deserve action?

No mention from the Chancellor on raising benefits (3.1% rise this year) in line with the 40-year-high inflation rate (9%) or reinstatement of the £20 per-week uplift to Universal Credit.

Instead, we got a sticking plaster from a Chancellor, whose government is the only G7 government to raise taxes on working people this year. Moreover, he has imposed over a dozen tax rises under his watch.

His U-turn on the windfall tax was not an announcement for struggling households; it was an attempt to put out the fire and appease his backbenchers in light of the publication of Sue Gray’s report. The country will see through his U-turn.

Catriona C Clark, Banknock, Falkirk.



ON THE subject of restrictions when in lockdown, Steve Barclay MP, the Downing Street Chief of Staff (as the duty Minister sent to the daily ritual lion’s den) said on Radio 4 that it was okay for Boris Johnson to attend a leaving do for a staff member as it was his duty to appreciate the service of his staff.

Is it okay, then, for an NHS manager or a council manager to do the same? Who does he think he is kidding?

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.



READERS who have seen the Morecambe and Wise filmThe Intelligence Men will recall the last scene, a lavish reception with people chatting and laughing while eating chicken legs and drinking champagne.

Enter Eric Morecambe, looking completely out of place, saying he’s heard there was a party.

“Party?” quoth Ernie Wise, taking a bite out of the chicken and a sip from his glass. “No, there’s no party”.

For some reason, that little interchange sprang to mind the other day.

Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews.



IN his latest column “Would you pass the test of Jubilee nationalism?” (May 26) Mark Smith writes that he is “[also] aware of the dangers of jingoism and nationalism”.

I checked my Collins English dictionary for the meanings of the two words.

‘Jingoism’ is an excessive and aggressive patriotism, whereas ‘nationalism’ is a policy of national independence.

I must admit I voted against independence in 2014, as I equated nationalism at that time with xenophobia, and I also thought it would destabilise the rest of Europe.

But now I understand nationalism as a policy of national independence.

After the behaviour of the Conservative Party putting Boris Johnson in charge, knowing that he was a serial manipulator of the truth, I became an independence supporter.

I am not in favour of jingoism or excessive, aggressive patriotism, but I now know that the only way to cut Scotland off from the imperialistic, aggressive, militaristic, foreign policy of England and its partner in war crimes, the United States, is to become independent.

After independence Scotland will not be a one-party state, under the control of the SNP, it will divide into political parties, from the right to the centre, to the left.

That is the only way Scotland will be able to “take back control” of its own destiny.

Margaret Forbes, Blanefield.



DESPITE the knee-jerk attempts by many of your regular correspondents to denounce Nicola Sturgeon – one really wonders whether their lives are so barren that all they have to look forward to is the chance to send The Herald yet another ponderous letter – the fact remains that she is the most popular politician in Scotland.

That in itself is quite a feat, given how long she has been in power. It is not all down to independence.

I believe that millions of Scots appreciate what the SNP has done for the country and its citizens, from tackling child poverty to addressing the climate crisis and creating a national investment bank. Her government has been pro-active in many areas.

Her record is far from flawless – the ferries have been mishandled to the point where they are a running sore, and ScotRail’s nationalisation has not got off to a flying start. More seriously, much work remains to be done on closing the attainment gap and on the matter of drug-related deaths.

But give Sturgeon credit where credit is due. Her work is far from over. She is intent on improving Scotland, and the constitutional debate she has encouraged will continue to be a full and honest one as Scotland tries to maximise its potential. And she is still miles more trustworthy than the current occupant of No. 10, a man utterly devoid of shame or principle.

I look forward to her critics rousing themselves from their slumbers and offering the usual tried and unoriginal criticisms.

M. Thomson, Glasgow.



TO the surprise of Pete Wishart, SNP MP, Nicola Sturgeon has declined invitation to appear before the Scottish affairs committee in Westminster to discuss welfare, education and renewable energy.

Why? She was certainly happy to touch on such matters in Washington recently, and she’s usually not reluctant to seize an opportunity for media attention. Maybe these days she believes she’s simply too grand to appear before a Westminster committee?

Of course, many of us know her track record in these areas is far from strong – perhaps she’s keen to avoid the scrutiny of MPs who know what they’re talking about?

Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire.



I AM not even a surveyor and could not add any letters after my name. However, what I do know is that Ken Mackay’s point (letters, May 25) that the criticism of the SNP’s “obvious incompetence” is biased is not biased at all. It is fact.

Alan Shepherd, Forfar.