Boris Johnson isn’t the only man to blame for the Owen Paterson fiasco which has shredded the Tories’ credibility

Now get a grip

BORIS Johnson isn’t the only man to blame for the Owen Paterson fiasco which has shredded the Tories’ credibility.

It’s true that a PM normally highly attuned to voters’ concerns should have sensed how repulsed they would be by a shabby ruse to save his friend from scandal. But it was a jaw-dropping ­political miscalculation too.

Chief whip Mark Spencer not only believed the Government could get away with such Parliamentary trickery, he failed to predict it igniting a massive rebellion among Tory MPs either. 

It’s his job and that of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to spot such dangers a mile off . . . not persuade their boss to charge headlong into them.

Ultimately, though, it was Boris’s call and a disastrous one. Not just misjudged. Plain wrong. He cannot afford any more. 

He is probably only two years away from an election and has by-elections looming. He must rebuild the Government’s ­battered reputation and focus on cutting taxes and the cost of living.

It is still very hard to imagine Keir Starmer’s path to power. Boris’s ­magnetism remains a huge Tory asset.

But the highest taxes in 70 years, imposed by a Government seen as sleazy and shambolic, could negate even that.

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Fishy France

Record 853 migrants made it to Britain in small boats in a single day, despite Priti Patel handing over to France the first instalment of £54millionCredit: LNP

IT was naive in hindsight to think France would uphold its end of the deal and stop illegal migrants crossing the Channel.

Its petulant President, after all, thinks nothing of seizing a law-abiding UK trawler — and even threatening our energy supplies — hoping to blackmail us into letting rogue French crews fish our waters without any right to do so.

Macron wants to punish us over Brexit. The last thing on his mind is solving our problem with small boats.

So, despite freezing November conditions, a record 853 migrants landed on our shores on Wednesday alone — making a staggering 21,051 so far this year.

Absurdly, we are now paying the French £54million to stop them setting sail — the first instalment was made this week. But France instead waves most of them off with a “bon voyage”.

This betrayal is lethal. The crossing claimed three lives this week alone.

Home Secretary Priti Patel must halt payments until France keeps its word.

But Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart is right to say Britain is a migrants’ paradise. None of our Government’s tough talk has achieved anything. Illegal arrivals know they will never be deported.

The French could stop them, but they don’t. We could deter them, but we don’t.

It’s a no-glow

WE can cope without pigs in blankets.

Even bread. Maybe, somehow, even loo roll. But what if Strictly has no fake tan? Who wants a parade of pallid prancers?

There’s no tango without a tan glow.

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