THE leaked video of the Downing Street press conference rehearsal has seriously damaged the Government and specifically the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson’s sense of humour was one of his attractive strengths, but the video showed his staff laughing at the restrictions, which the rest of the country was following, and joking about their party, or gathering, which they knew to be indefensible.

It plays to everything the opposition has been saying about one rule for them and another for us. It raises profound questions about the calibre of advisors Mr Johnson has around him, and about Mr Johnson himself. He’s very good at raising a smile, he did manage to bully Brexit over the line – as many red wall voters wanted – but is he any good at governing?

After weeks of bad headlines over everything from Tory sleaze to social care, his Downing Street operation seems as chaotic as his hair. It’s all over the place. The Prime Minister sought information from colleagues about the events of December 18 in Downing Street last year but such was his failure to find out, he now has to have a senior civil servant investigate.

It looks very bad indeed.

It might be funny if it weren’t so serious: the obvious question as he introduced new restrictions was “why should people follow them if your own staff don’t think they matter?”

However, just as the British people were able to see through the mockery Dominic Cummings made of them with his trip to Barnard Castle, they will be able to see there is sense in many of the new restrictions.