Even with Owen Paterson gone, the damage from Boris’s miscalculation may be huge

Boris blunder

HOW did Boris Johnson think he could get away with it?

Yes, he has occasionally bent the rules before — or backed those who have.

Even with Mr Paterson gone, the damage from Boris’s miscalculation may be huge[/caption]

It was sometimes excusable, too, given that the last Parliament and its pet Speaker spent three years sneakily plotting to overturn 17million Brexit votes.

The Owen Paterson scandal is different.

The MP’s lobbying for firms which paid him handsome sums was so obviously wrong and his defence was threadbare.

No matter how much the PM sympathised with his old friend over his wife’s suicide, it was insane to override the official verdict against him and try to change Parliament’s rules to save him.

That Boris U-turned so fast in the face of the backlash shows how indefensible it was.

No wonder those MPs strong-armed into backing Mr Paterson are outraged.

The Prime Minister, focused on ­climate change and Covid, descended to London from his global stage at COP26 and seems to have judged Mr Paterson’s predicament a ­trifling matter, best swatted away and smoothed over later.

It was a grievous error. This Government is acutely vulnerable to sleaze claims.

And voters ARE watching, PM.

Even with Mr Paterson gone, the damage from Boris’s miscalculation may be huge.

Miracle pill

WE led the world on vaccines. Now Britain is doing so again on Covid pills.

Molnupiravir, an antiviral you can take at home, can cut the risk of hospitalisation and death by half in the most vulnerable people who test positive.

Britain is first to approve it. Much of the world will follow.

This incredible breakthrough, like our jabs, was only science fiction when the ­pandemic first struck. Now it’s reality.

When Covid has been reduced to little more than a routine illness it won’t be down to masks, distancing, lockdowns or other curbs on our freedoms.

It will be thanks to science, innovation and private enterprise thriving in free markets.

We now have an arsenal of weapons to beat this disease.

Go and get yours . . . just as soon as you’re due for that booster.

Bullying Beeb

WHEN the BBC next pleads poverty, remember how it spent £9million in a year solely on hounding hard-up folk for cash.

Many are OAPs, unable or unwilling to pay since the Beeb shamefully refused to continue over-75s’ free licences.

This compulsory tax on our TVs is a crumbling relic from a bygone age. An absurdity in an era, long established now, of voluntary ­subscriptions to ­Netflix and the like.

The BBC must lose the licence and be forced to redesign its funding and output.

Meanwhile it must stop harassing old folk with menacing demands — and spend the savings on better shows.

* Read the full story...This article was originally published h

Who will be Next to leave the EU? Check out who is leading in our exclusive poll Poll