Boris Johnson has blown the Conservative Party's dirty little secret wide open and now it could cost him his premiership
The Prime Minister has lit a fuse under his own leadership of the party.
For many years there has been an open secret about how politics works in the UK.
Former ministers have routinely profited from their access and influence over their colleagues in government, with few even stopping to comment on it.
Far from being hidden, this behaviour has been almost entirely out in the open. Whereas in the days of ‘cash for questions’ MPs needed to waddle off to Harrods to pick up a bulging brown envelope, now the transactions can be seen easily by anyone with access to Hansard and Parliament’s own public register of interest.
Paid consultancies with private companies have been routinely taken by former ministers and up-and-coming MPs, most of whom barely even attempt to hide their subsequent lobbying of the government.
Although Owen Paterson is the most egregious recent example of this swindle he is by no means alone.
And yet despite this all happening out in the open, few journalists, aside from some talented specialist reporters, have even bothered to cover it. It has instead remained a kind of dirty open secret, which everybody in Westminster knows is happening but few have bothered to talk about.
That is until now.