Boris Johnson, hardly a man for backing down, apologised on Monday for the allegations of parties in No10.
The words had hardly escaped his mouth when he wound up in another scrap, this time after repeating a false claim – originally pedalled by right wing conspiracy memes – that Keir Starmer had failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile during his time at as director of public prosecutions.
Johnson’s comments caused dismay among his Conservative colleagues who were hoping the Prime Minister could steady a rapidly sinking ship.
The claim, pushed by far-right groups, has been widely rebuked by a handful of separate fact-checking sites.
The PM was apparently warned against using it in an attack on Sir Keir but pushed ahead anyway and is now refusing to rescind the comments made under the protection of parliamentary privilege. At least, it moves the headlines on from partygate.