NEIL Mackay suggests that consideration should be given to prosecuting Boris Johnson for "misconduct in public office" ("After so many sins, it’s time to talk about prosecuting Boris Johnson", The Herald, July 7). To be clear, were I on a jury, hearing such a case, I would hold him guilty without reservation. As Mr Mackay notes, “it seems almost absurd to discuss whether Mr Partygate has wilfully misconducted himself to such a degree that he’s abused public trust".

The problem is the likelihood of such a prosecution happening, or even being allowed to happen. I would suggest it is about as likely as the Conservatives, led by whomever, calling an election this year – that is, nil.

Mr Mackay’s asserts that if Mr Johnson “isn’t punished in some way, then what’s to stop another Prime Minister simply using what’s happened these last few years as a template for their own leadership”? Quite so.

I think we need to distinguish between Mr Johnson’s actions that were cheered on by his own side, and those that have led to his downfall. Clearly Partygate and his management of the personal scandals of his MPs are prime examples of the latter. However, his determination to “get Brexit done”, the Elections Act which inter alia emasculates the Electoral Commission, or the UK Internal Market Act which undermines a great deal of devolution – indeed the whole “muscular unionism” approach of this Government – are examples of the former.

When a new party leader, and Prime Minister, is elected does Mr Mackay, or anyone else imagine that such policies are going to change? While a new PM might be expected to "clean up the act", it is very likely that “what’s happened these last few years [will serve] as a template for their own leadership” in regards to more significant policy areas.

Mr Johnson’s fate will be to take his place in, and be judged by, history, no doubt being praised and condemned as most prime ministers before him. Can’t wait for the memoirs though.

Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.


THE Pincher affair was the straw that broke Boris Johnson's Premiership and trumpeted as such by SNP politicians. But the parallels between Chris Pincher and the SNP's own Patrick Grady scandal are remarkable and blindingly obvious.

Both Mr Pincher and Mr Grady were long-term sex pests. Their behaviour was known to their party leadership. Nevertheless, both were appointed as whips of their party. When their behaviour became public they were both protected by their party leadership. Here the timelines part.

Boris Johnson was damaged by these revelations and eventually forced to resign, while Ian Blackford and Nicola Sturgeon have just shrugged it all off and refused to acknowledge any blame while hypocritically attacking Mr Johnson for the failings of which they are also guilty. In fact the SNP has gone further than the Conservatives in threatening the victim with disciplinary action.

It is difficult to see how the SNP leadership can continue to pretend that Mr Johnson is right to resign for his actions in the Pincher case while Mr Blackford and Ms Sturgeon, equally complicit in a parallel scandal, can escape the condemnation they themselves heaped on Mr Johnson.

Alex Gallagher, Largs.


HOW inconvenient of Boris Johnson (finally) to resign. He has served as a very useful bogeyman for Nicola Sturgeon and her party. Whoever succeeds him will still be a Tory, and therefore akin to the devil incarnate in her eyes, but that person surely cannot be as untruthful, devious and clumsy as Mr Johnson. Ms Sturgeon has, of course, to say that she feels "a widespread sense of relief" at Mr Johnson’s demise, but he denies her a valuable electoral tool.

I heard a commentator refer to Mr Johnson as a "campaigner, not a governor", and the phrase "peas in a pod" came to mind. Ms Sturgeon and her party are not fit for government. They are a campaigning force, with one aim. Take a look at the state of the devolved services that they are supposed to be running, and I defy you not to say of the SNP, in Ms Sturgeon’s tweeted words about the Tories, "the whole rotten lot need to go".

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.


AS I reflect upon the political turmoil which is engulfing the UK and is about to plunge Scotland into uncertainty, not to say chaos, I cannot but conclude that nationalism, whether Anglo-British or Scottish, is a truly destructive force.

I further conclude that the UK and Scotland need the joint resources of the Union and indeed of Europe to resolve the political, social, economic and global challenges which face the western world. Even the United States, upon which we have relied to act as a defender, at least in theory, of democratic values is struggling with its own expressions of nationalism.

We must recover our faith in at least the UK’s sense of decency with both politicians and citizens working to restore our values which we too readily took for granted.

Now that Boris Johnson is going, albeit not soon enough, the Conservative Party which so encouraged and promoted him must also be sent packing.

John Milne, Uddingston.


BORIS Johnson's farewell speech outside 10 Downing Street told us all we need to know about the character of this man.

There was no hint of reflection about what brought about the collapse of confidence in his premiership. There was no sign of remorse that he had any part to play in his loss of office. Instead we were told that the herd instinct is what created his departure, laying the blame on influencers who controlled the attitudes of the unthinking mob of elected representatives.

His use of that term has to be seen as an insult directed at members of his party as though they could not make up their own minds about his serial and serious infringements of parliamentary conventions.

To state that he intended to stay on until his successor is chosen simply beggars belief.

His inability to be straight with his responses to his own faux pas has left people wondering whether he ever had a moral compass, without which his contact with integrity and the truth was, to say the least, tenuous.

Since he told us that he would never change his character, what else can be expected of him but more of the same old, if he hangs on until the autumn?

His refusal or inability to entertain any consideration about his own contribution to his downfall leaves no option but that he should immediately vacate his current home and leave it to some respected representative to carry out the caretaker duties of a temporary PM during the hiatus of the interregnum.

Until he leaves the scene of his misdemeanours, the slate cannot be wiped clean.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.


AS I type this email, Boris Johnson is delivering his resignation speech to the country having lost in the region of 50 ministers and ministerial aides in the last couple of days. I would not start to comment on the machinations that have taken place to bring this about, but would remind everyone that we get the government we deserve by the way we vote or not as the case may be.

It must be the time that the whole voting practice gets reviewed, as the apathy shown by the British people at both local and general elections must be addressed as we commonly get elections where the person or party concerned gets voted in with a turnout of between 40 and 60 per cent. How can that be properly representative of the population?

All of this must be considered along with the "levelling up" not only in financial terms but in representative aspects of devolution within the home nations as a whole or the increasing risk of the breakup of "our precious Union" will be fact and not fiction.

Allan Halliday, Paisley.


I’M sorry to hear that Boris Johnson is going. With two years until the next Westminster election, it gives the Tories time to rebuild; unless, of course, they’ve really lost the plot and now choose Nadine Dorries or Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


TO those who have been astonished by Boris Johnson's bizarre behaviour in clinging on to power when all the rats have deserted his ship I must repeat my prognostication which I gave to Herald readers before he was given the keys to Number 10:

Boris Johnston and Donald Trump

erraperr ... errarerrperr.

You cannot say that you were not warned.

Tina Oakes, Stonehaven.