Boris Johnson’s imperial moves should not be used as a partygate distraction, Minister says

The measures did little to lift public spirits during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, when Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie were booed by crowds as they arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral for the monarch’s national harvest festival

Boris Johnson’s imperial action plan will not be used as a “patriotic distraction” from his leadership problems, a minister has claimed.

Secretary of Commerce Paul Scully said officials had also considered putting the crown stamp back on pint glasses for some time because it was “a nice touch”.

The Government today launched a consultation in hopes of paving the way for greater use of imperial units in Britain post-Brexit.

Its 12-week consultation will examine how these rules can be changed to give retailers more freedom in choosing prices for fresh items.

But after Sue Gray’s final report on lockdown-breaking parties, first revealed by the Mirror, the government has released a series of measures to divert attention from the failures of top leadership, which it slammed in its report.

Whitehall’s enforcer said the Prime Minister must “take responsibility” for No 10 meetings, which he attended eight.

Since those scathing remarks, the Tories have caved in to Labor calls for a windfall tax, unveiled plans for a return to imperial measures, confirmed when the first move flight to Rwanda will take place and unveiled plans, possibly Covid-style briefings on the economy to start as the cost-of-living crisis worsens.

Mr Scully told Sky News today: “It’s something we’ve been considering for some time. It’s fitting that we’re talking about the crown symbol on pint glasses. I think it’s a nice thing.”

He added: “Launching a consultation will give people a choice. We haven’t been able to sell in imperial measures, apart from a few limited examples, that’s something some want to do.”

Boris Johnson faced jeers and boos as he arrived at the Queen’s Jubilee service


AFP via Getty Images)

The government’s plans will also help, for example, allow vegetables to be sold in pounds only, or in pounds with a less prominent metric equivalent, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Mirror first revealed the plans last week, when government insiders told us ministers were ready to make the announcement to coincide with celebrations of the monarch’s 70th jubilee.

Fellow Tory and supermarket boss Lord Rose of Monewden has branded the plans “complete and utter nonsense” and insisted it would result in “additional costs” for those making the transition.

It is currently legal to quote goods prices in pounds and ounces, but they must be quoted in grams and kilograms alongside the price, except in a limited number of cases.

Speaking after the Prime Minister was fined for attending his own lockdown busting party, Mr Scully acknowledged Mr Johnson had a lot of work to do in building public trust.

At the time, he said there was “a political element” to the PM’s calls for his resignation.

“Nevertheless, the Prime Minister got on with it, he apologized, he accepted the fine, he accepted the police finding and he wants to move on.

“It’s difficult now because he has to rebuild trust with people who are angry and frustrated, but that’s the challenge we have,” he told BBC Breakfast in April.

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