‘Machine limbering up’ BBC’s Mason exposes Tory ploy to tackle Sue Gray report furore
'Government machine' trying to change the agenda says expert
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The Tory Party has rushed to organise an announcement from the Chancellor in an effort to bury the conclusions of the Sue Gray report, published on Wednesday. Rishi Sunak is set to make a pivotal announcement surrounding new economic policy just a day after Boris Johnson was forced to address the revelations of the report concerning the Downing Street partygate allegations.Political analysts said the Conservative Party had deliberately calculated the introduction of new measures concerning the cost of living crisis in order to counter the negative impact of the Sue Gray investigation.
Speaking for the BBC’s Newscast, political editor Chris Mason said: “The Government announcement that is coming on Thursday, around the whole cost of living question and the help that the Government might be able to offer, we’ll see the Chancellor out and about and pretty prominent.”
Mr Mason explained he had received notice of the Chancellor’s anticipated announcement while still in a press conference concerning the Prime Minister’s response to Sue Gray’s findings.
He continued: “In other words, even while the Prime Minister was still speaking, the Government machine was limbering up for doing that thing of moving on.”
The political expert claimed the Tory Government had deliberately planned to reveal a new package of economic support to distract from the Partygate criticisms directed at Boris Johnson.
He added: “Changing the agenda, getting onto the other stuff and trying, hoping and praying that they’re almost through the end of this whole party business.”
The BBC’s deputy political editor Vicki Young claimed the Prime Minister had also tactically welcomed extensive questioning on the report on the day of its publication in order to deflect future requests for comment.
Ms Young said: “That was one of the other things that the Prime Minister said in this meeting where he said look, we cannot afford to spend another second talking about this because we’ve got to talk about other things that matter to people.
“The timing is let’s move on as soon as we can.
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“You can see what he did [on Wednesday], he was like I’m going to take questions all day so that the next time you interview him, you ask him a question about it and he’ll say I’ve answered this for hours, I’ve talked about this all, there’s nothing more to say on this – move on, move on, move on.”
Discussing the Government’s response to the Sue Gray findings, the political analysts concluded the Conservatives had orchestrated a plan to minimise the fallout from the investigation.
They suggested the Chancellor’s address served to switch the political focus of the nation back towards the cost of living crisis and the inflation battering the economy.
Furthermore, Boris Johnson had acted swiftly to provide a lengthy statement and extensive press comment on the Sue Gray report.
This action by the Prime Minister is strategic in that he is now able to deny future comments and urge both the media and political colleagues to focus on alternative matters at hand.
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In his address to the House of Commons, it was clear Mr Johnson wished for the political glare of the UK to move hastily past the findings of the long-awaited report.
He said: “I hope very much that now [Sue Gray] has reported, we will be able to move on and focus on the priorities of the British people, standing firm against Russian aggression, easing the hardship caused by the rising costs that people are facing, and fulfilling our pledge to generate the high wage, high skilled, high employment that will unite and level up our whole United Kingdom.”
While the Prime Minister did apologise to the Commons for his involvement in the gatherings and state that he had been “humbled” by the report’s findings, he made no mention of any plan to step down from his political role.
The Chancellor is expected to announce a new package of economic policy on Thursday and it is highly speculated that Mr Sunak will introduce a windfall tax against energy corporations who have profited extensively from rising prices over recent months.
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