Downing Street party: Tory MP says he is 'embarrassed'
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The news comes as once again Mr Johnson comes under intense fire over leaked information suggesting guests were invited to a Downing Street event whilst the country was under strict lockdown conditions. A leaked email surrounding the event suggested that attendees “bring your own booze” in what appears to be a second social gathering in the heart of the Tory Government. The SNP Westminster representative said the Prime Minister was “sticking two fingers up at everybody else”.
Mr Blackford said: “The Prime Minister and others were telling people what they should do, and then effectively sticking two fingers up to everybody else by having this party by encouraging people to bring their own booze.”
He added: “This wasn’t about having a drink at home, this was a deliberate attempt to have a party in contravention of the rules and the law when we know that many people were being arrested charged, and facing criminal sanctions as a consequence.”
Responding to Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw’s question about whether the PM should go, Paymaster General, Michael Ellis said: “The Prime Minister retains the confidence of the people of this country and he did so two years ago with the biggest majority in decades.”
Mr Blackford said it was time for Tory MPs to move against Johnson and force him to resign.
He called: “When you have a situation that Prime Minister that has behaved in such an egregious way cannot now have the moral authority to give leadership at a time of crisis.”
He further said: “His time has gone, he should have the dignity and self-respect to recognise he should resign.”
Mr Blackford said that a motion of no-confidence, which would have to be lodged by the Labour opposition, would only serve to strengthen the Prime Minister by forcing Tory MPs to back the Prime Minister.
But the SNP leader asked Conservative MPs “how much are you prepared to take?”
He added: “If he wins a vote of no confidence that would embolden him.
Mr Blackford said in Parliament: “That’s why it’s really up to the Conservative MPs that recognise that this man is doing tremendous damage to the United Kingdom, to have the strength of their own conviction to recognise that he has to go.”
Labour criticised Mr Johnson for hiding behind an investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into the events at Downing Street and published a list of eleven times they claimed the Prime Minister “lied” about the issue.
Angela Rayner MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said: “The truth is out now. Not only did Boris Johnson know about the parties, but he also attended them and he lied.
“It’s time for the Prime Minister to stop hiding behind Whitehall inquiries and finally come clean.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, the deputy leader demanded a statement from the PM.
Paymaster General Michael Ellis, replying to her request said “I apologise for the hurt caused.”
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He further stated: “The Prime Minister has asked for an investigation to take place, and the results have been published in the library of this house.”
Suggesting that if an offence has taken place, Mr Ellis said: “The case will be referred to the Metropolitan Police as per the practice of this house.”
The latest scandal has also received a furious reaction on social media.
Already a trending hashtag has emerged on Twitter.
“Boris Resign” has seen hundreds of comments flooding in over the anger and rage, with many suggesting they lost loved ones during the lockdown period.
One tweet read: “If you still think ‘Boris is doing his best’ then get help. He is laughing at you, me, my family & yours and disrespecting all those that died alone.”
It ended: “People were literally DYING while they were partying and people didn’t see their families because they were told no – #BorisResign.”
didn’t see their families because they were told no – #BorisResign.”
Speaking in the Houses of Commons, Mr Blackford stood as asked “where is the Prime Minister and his front bench,” calling Mr Ellis the “fall guy” to Mr Johnson.
He ended his speech by saying: “Mr Speaker, this is a Prime Minister that has lost his moral authority, and lost the trust of the people of this island, if he does not do the decent thing, then I will ask the members of the party to force him out.”
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