SO, having promised the House of Commons that all guidance had been completely followed, we now discover that the Prime Minister is among the Partygate revellers who will be fined for breaching the Covid-19 lockdown laws his Government set for the rest of us.

And fresh from the deepening scandal over his tax affairs, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is also facing a loose-change fine for attending a Downing Street party, arranged by Boris Johnson’s wife, Carrie. Oh yes, she's another found to have broken the law that the rest of us were told we had to obey in the midst of the world’s public health crisis in living memory.

Despite all of that, Mr Johnson – the first serving Prime Minister in British history to have broken the law – clings shamelessly to power. Tory MPs, who pledged to oust him if he were found guilty of criminal behaviour, now sheepishly say the time isn’t right because of the war in Ukraine.

Terrible though the war is, it is likely to continue for a considerable time to come, and what would it mean for our own democracy if a law-breaking, lying Prime Minister used the conflict to ride out the storm and remain in power? 

It would once have been absolutely unthinkable that any PM could survive such a scandal. And yet, here we are debating the possibility that he might “get away with it”.

Surely, in times of crisis, we need – more than ever – to have a Prime Minister whose judgement can be trusted. But the dregs of that trust were swilled away with the glasses of champagne quaffed at Carrie's Cabinet Room party, and the brazen insistence that the laws had been followed to the letter.

There will, of course, be those who argue that we must move on – because of the war. They'll say the moment has passed. That the anger has subsided. That Boris – to echo Monty Python – is a very naughty boy but that's as far as it goes, old boy.

Yes, the war in Ukraine is unequivocally the biggest challenge all of us face, but that doesn’t mean the Partygate scandal is some piddling little matter. It isn’t.

Remember that people were unable to attend the funerals of loved ones. They couldn’t be at the bedsides of family members as they took their last breaths. They endured months of isolation and their mental health suffered as a result. But for many at the heart of Government – the Prime Minister and Chancellor among them – it was clearly a case of ‘one rule for them and another for us’.

Of course the Prime Minister should have the decency to resign and so should his out-of-touch Chancellor. It shouldn't even be a matter for debate because, if they simply carry on, our own democracy – the foundation of how our society operates – will have been reduced to a sham.

It is absolutely not about party politics. It is about what’s right and wrong.