All of this is against the backdrop of the prime minister being investigated for several apparent breaches of the ministerial code.
He chose to ignore critical reports on his ministers; rejected advice from his independent adviser on ministerial standards – who resigned; and attempted – but failed – to overturn a unanimous Standards Select Committee report that condemned the behaviour of a parliamentary colleague and friend.
It may be possible to find excuses for each of these lapses – and others – but all of them, taken together, tell a different tale.
The prime minister and our present government not only challenge the law, but also seem to believe that they – and they alone – need not obey the rules, traditions, conventions – call them what you will – of public life.
The charge that there is one law for the government, and one for everyone else is politically deadly – and it has struck home.
Our democracy requires that the truth and the law should be respected and obeyed – above all, by the government. But, sometimes, it seems that – even if it is obeyed – it is not always respected.
10 February 2022 – John Major, Conservative MP from from 1979 to 2001, former Foreign Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Leader of the Conservative Party, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom