MPs react to publication of Sue Gray report and Boris Johnson’s leadership
MPS SERVING Rotherham, Don Valley and the Valley had their say on the publication of Sue Gray’s report this week, with a mixed response depending on the party.
The investigation was launched following detailed reports that there had been ‘unlawful lockdown gatherings’ at No 10 which breached Covid-19 restrictions.
Civil servant Ms Gray’s report found there had been ‘failures of leadership and judgment’ on the part of Downing Street officials. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has since apologized for the debacle and has taken “full responsibility” for Partygate.
There were calls for Mr Johnson to step down, which he rebuffed, while others defended him and asked the public to ‘draw a line and move on’.
Sarah Champion, Labor MP for Rotherham, said: “The release of Sue Gray’s report confirms what has been clear for months.
“Boris Johnson oversaw a booze culture in Number 10 that saw Downing Street partying while the rest of the country played by the rules.
“They believed that the rules they had established did not apply to them.
“Boris Johnson’s conduct is an insult to those who have suffered multiple lockdowns, to the bereaved families who have not been able to grieve properly and to the 180,000 people who have lost their lives to the disease.
“The Prime Minister has dishonored his office.
“He betrayed the trust of the British people and he lied to Parliament.
“If he had any decency, he would quit.”
Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey, also representing Labour, said: “This report reveals the rot at the heart of government, with parties during lockdown routinely breaking the rules.
“Boris Johnson is the first prime minister in British history convicted of breaking the law in office.”
Mr Healey said Mr Johnson made and broke the rules but then told Parliament there were no parties.
‘We have all made sacrifices to protect ourselves and others during Covid, but all the while the Prime Minister and his staff have continued their party culture,’ he said.
“It shows contempt for the public the Prime Minister is meant to serve.
“Britain deserves better.
“The report also makes it clear that the blame must stop at the top for this rule-breaking culture, but the Prime Minister blames everyone but himself.
“His leadership failure has left the government paralyzed in the midst of a cost of living crisis, as Boris Johnson’s only concern is to save his own skin.”
Nick Fletcher, Conservative MP for Don Valley, said he was supporting his party leader in a difficult situation.
He adds: ‘I said I would comment on the issues surrounding the events at number 10 once Sue Gray’s report is out.
“The report expands on the evidence of the lack of senior management leadership within this sprawling office complex which is a place of business, and also a place where civil servants and politicians live and work.
“A fine has been imposed.
“The Prime Minister has decided not to challenge this for his own reasons.
“Therefore, he accepted this and paid the £50 fine.
“The Prime Minister has repeatedly apologized for these events.
“But we have to draw a line under this period and move on.
“I personally must continue my work and continue to bring aspirations and opportunity to our great city and press the government to keep it moving forward.”
Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford did not respond to a request for comment.