Senior MPs, including a Tory former health minister, gave the Prime Minister 30 days to answer questions about the guest list for the party on December 18, and details of a party alleged to have taken place in his flat on November 13
Image: Tolga Akmen/Lnp/REX/Shutterstock)
MPs have given Boris Johnson 30 days to come clean with details of lockdown-busting parties under his own roof.
Senior MPs, including a Tory former health minister, gave the Prime Minister 30 days to answer questions about the guest list for the party on December 18, and details of a party alleged to have taken place in his flat on November 13.
The cross-party group of MPs and peers – including Tory Dr Dan Poulter – today called on Cabinet Secretary Simon Case’s probe into the parties answer key questions within 30 days.
Mr Case was last week tasked with investigating “the facts” of the party on December 18 in Number 10, details of which were first revealed by the Daily Mirror.
The probe has since been extended to cover the party at the Department for Education, as well as a further gathering alleged to have taken place in the PM’s Downing Street flat on November 13.
But Number 10 has resisted putting a timescale on his probe, with the PM only saying it would report back as quickly as possible.
Today, in a letter coordinated by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus, a cross-party group of MPs and Peers called on the PM to admit to “any other gatherings in Downing Street in contravention of Covid rules such as that alleged by Mr Cummings to have occurred on 13th November 2020?”
And they demanded to know the guest list for the December 18 Christmas party, who organised and sanctioned it, and what knowledge of it the Prime Minister had at the time.
It follows new polling, which suggests that 57% of people no longer trust the UK government to handle the nation’s pandemic response with 65% saying the scandal would negatively impact compliance with Covid rules.
The polling, from from Best for Britain, the APPG’s Secretariat found 57% of 2019 Tory voters thought it made people less likely to follow Covid restrictions – while 50% of Leave voters had also lost confidence in the government.
Layla Moran MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus said: “We’ve heard first hand of the pain and loss people have endured during this pandemic.
“To know that at the same time, those in Number 10 were partying and laughing about their rule-breaking, is absolutely sickening.
“This investigation must be thorough. If the Prime Minister was aware of this party it is a resignation matter.”
Naomi Smith, Chief Executive of Best for Britain said: “Our polling shows the real world dangers of a government that plays fast and loose with the trust of the British people.
“This investigation cannot be a whitewash, with fewer people now expected to observe Covid guidelines, answering these questions is a matter of life and death.”
The letter in full
As the UK faces the new Omicron variant this winter, it has never been more important for the public to trust the UK Government’s response to the pandemic and observe all restrictions in place to save lives and protect the NHS. Therefore, the growing evidence supporting allegations of a social gathering at 10 Downing Street in contravention of Covid restrictions is deeply concerning.
Your belated announcement of an internal investigation into this breach of Covid rules is welcome, but we remain concerned at the scope and the timeline of this investigation. For this reason we the undersigned ask you, to guarantee in writing that within the next 30 days, the investigation will provide answers to the following questions which are in the urgent public interest:
- Who attended the Downing Street party on 18th December?
- Who sanctioned and organised the event?
- Was the Prime Minister aware? And when did he become aware?
- Will the Prime Minister guarantee that all evidence is shared with the Metropolitan Police as soon as it becomes available?
- Were there any other gatherings in Downing Street in contravention of Covid rules such as that alleged by Mr Cummings to have occurred on 13th November 2020?
A Christmas party in Downing Street at a time when the public made enormous sacrifices, including spending Christmas in isolation and far from sick and even dying relatives, would not only represent a flagrant breach of the rules, but a breach of the trust of the British people as well.
At this crucial time in the pandemic, the public must have full trust in the UK Government’s ability to safeguard lives. It is vital that this investigation urgently restores public trust in the UK Government’s pandemic response and all public health measures in place.
- Layla Moran MP
- Dan Poulter MP
- Barbara Keeley MP
- Caroline Lucas MP
- Philippa Whitford MP
- Clive Lewis MP
- Ben Lake MP
- Liz Saville-Roberts MP
- Sir George Edward Howarth MP
- Baroness Brinton
- Lord Russell
- Lord Strasburger
- Baroness Masham
- Baroness Sheehan
- Christine Jardine MP
- Wendy Chamberlain MP
- Allan Dorrans MP
- Kim Johnson MP
- Hywel Williams
- Sarah Oley MP
- Jamie Stone MP
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.