12 DAYS OF THE TORIES: the scandals that made headlines this year

The Conservative party has now been governing the country for 11 years but none of them have been quite as fruitful for headlines and gossip as 2021 has, so without further ado…

In the last 12 months of governing, the Tory party gave to me:

12 weeks off for Roberts

Rob Roberts, MP for Delyn, North Wales, was handed a 12-week suspension, starting from August 9th after being found guilty of sexually harassing a member of his staff. After his suspension from the party, they did allow him to return, which many have viewed as him being “let off the hook”, although the whip is still being withheld from him.

11 million students

During the pandemic, all parts of life in the UK have been affected, especially the education system. Teachers have left the nation in awe as they adapt to new laws and legislations overnight, having found out about them with the rest of the public in a 5 pm briefing. One of the biggest scandals was by far Gavin Williamson saying that exams would go ahead as planned but canceling them less than a week later…

No. 10 refurbed with mystery funding

In April 2020, work began on Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat, and the Tories claimed that they had spent £15,000 on the refurbishment, but they were found by the electoral council to have misrepresented the expenditures and were thus fined £17,800 for failing to report an additional expenditure of £52,801.72.

(Ok so, yes Boris Johnson lives in number 11 now but traditionally the Prime Minister lived in number 10 so just go with it for the joke… please?)

9 claims from Cummings

On May 26th, Dominic Cummings appeared to give a testimony of evidence in regards to an array of claims that he had made about Boris Johnson and his government. This wasn’t the only time Cummings spilled the beans on the cabinet, leaking WhatsApp messages and providing an ear on the ground for many a conversation inside Downing Street, including the now infamous “let the bodies pile high” discussion about lockdown number three.

80 million lawsuit

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen countless claims of cronyism pass across the newsroom desk, but time and time again they were disproven, ignored, and simply brushed under the carpet, until they simply couldn’t be anymore. Earlier this year, Matt Hancock was caught red handed (something he would quickly become familiar with) giving a contract for test tubes, worth £30 million to a business that he had shares in. These findings added fuel to a fire and a law suit worth £80 million was served against the then-health secretary.

7 crucial lines

October 2021 saw us move into murky waters, literally. A bill was blocked that would have stopped raw sewage being filtered into rivers and the ocean. By voting against the movement, 265 MPs, including several who’s constituencies rely on things such as tourism from the attraction of local bodies of water, removed seven lines from the new environment bill that would have outlawed this Victorian practice.

6th may camera footage

On May 6th, whilst the nation was gripped by their local elections, Matt Hancock was hidden away in his office with co-worker and friend, Gina Coladangelo. Hancock appeared to have forgotten the social distancing laws he wrote, as was shown in images captured by a hidden camera, which were first published by The Sun. The reveal of the affair brought the end to both of their marriages, but did produce an interesting array of comedic memes, featuring a parody of the government slogan as “hands, face, back to my place”.

5 million families left short

50% of the UK now live below the property line yet earlier this year the government voted to implement a cut to Universal Credit of £20 a week. Many, including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, criticised the decision which has seen Food Banks become an unreliable safety net for those families affected by the cuts.


4% more for turkey

One near-constant since the start of the pandemic has been the empty shelves in our supermarkets, whether that be pasta or toilet rolls. Originally, this was caused by pandemic-induced panic buying but now it is a result of the shortage of lorry drivers caused not only by COVID-19 but also Brexit. The Road Haulage Association estimate a shortage of HGV drivers that exceeds 100,000 empty job roles now, including the licensed drivers from EU member states that no longer live in the UK. The resulting shortages will see food costs on the up this Christmas.

300 still stranded

At the end of the day on August 31st, it was estimated that 300 people who had either worked for or assisted the UK during the 20 years we had troops over there, were still stranded, stuck under the new Taliban government. At the beginning of the Taliban take over both PM Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab were on holiday, despite being advised not to go. At the end of it all, despite being partially to blame, Johnson made Raab take the fall, demoting him to Justice Secretary in his next cabinet reshuffle.

2 domestic flights

This year has seen two of the biggest global conferences surrounding climate change, G7 and COP26, both held in the UK. Boris Johnson attended both, choosing to fly to the G7 and fly home from COP26, both domestic flights. The flight to the G7 alone added a potential 97Kg to the Earth’s atmosphere, compared the 27Kg the drive would have added.

And an illegal Christmas party…

The infamous Christmas parties. The Tories reportedly held “multiple” parties in Downing Street, which Boris Johnson denied in Prime Ministers’ Questions. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Allegra Stratton were filmed joking about the parties held while the rest of the country were away from loved ones over the festive period. The latter would then resign, contradiction Johnson’s denial of the events. Stratton’s career highlight featured publicly humiliating a working-class woman, painting her as on-benefits, despite her working a full-time job.

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