THE inquiry – the British time honoured way to evade responsibility.

All the more so in cases of wrongdoing, breaching laws and regulations with consequences.

Inquiries displacing what should all to often be criminal prosecution.

Politicians knowing full well inquiries last months and years by which time public opinion has moved on.

Exactly the outcome those seeking to evade justice want to see.

Currently now we have a civil servant, second permanent secretary Sue Gray, running an inquiry into the multiple reports of Downing Street lockdown party gatherings.

A second secretary as the first permanent secretary, Simon Case, had to step down in December on allegations his office threw one or more drinks parties.

The system so corrupted we cannot rely on the highest level public officers charged with upholding law and due process.

The national laws on lock-down gatherings since March 2020 could not be clearer. It is all laid out in multiple legislation, The Health Protection Coronavirus Regulations 2020 and 2021.

In this case of Downing Street partying the offence is “Organised Gatherings Offence”. Maximum penalty £10,000.

This is a criminal offence. A matter for the police to take up.

If not how can any government expect the general public to support Covid protection measures?

Who ever is going to report major breaches when we have the Prime Ministers residence, 10 Downing Street, wholesale breaching regulations they expect the rest of us to uphold.

Treating the general public - the lower orders - with contempt. And indeed, treating the highest in our realm with huge disrespect, at the gravest of times. Confidence in this prime minister and government is now utterly destroyed.

There is no way back. The only way forward a general election.

JEFF WILLIAMS Jubilee Road, Poole