Boris Johnson isn't sorry about Covid lockdown breach. He's sorry he got caught – Ian Murray MP

There have always been leaders we dislike or disagree with, but no one has corrupted the high office of Prime Minister quite like Boris Johnson.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:55 am
Boris Johnson leaves the Westminster Parliament amid public anger over his attendance at a party in Downing Street during lockdown (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Boris Johnson leaves the Westminster Parliament amid public anger over his attendance at a party in Downing Street during lockdown (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA)

During the height of Covid restrictions, the British public set their shoulder to the wheel and stayed at home for two months, under the orders of government, so that lives could be saved.

To hear that the Prime Minister's closest aide was inviting staff to a bring-your-own-booze party in the Number 10 garden has rightly horrified the country, and caused unimaginable pain for those who were unable to say goodbye to loved ones at the time.

Nearly 400 people in the UK died of Covid on the day of the Downing Street party in May 2020 and his own minister had tightened restrictions in a live TV address just an hour beforehand.

The Prime Minister should be ashamed that even he couldn’t even follow the rules. He saw up to 50 people with wine and snacks and joined in.

It is utterly ridiculous that he seems to suggest he had no idea he was at a party. It shows how far he is willing to go to insult the public’s intelligence.

The Prime Minister has had ample opportunity to be straight with us, but his feeble non-apology was just another slap in the face for bereaved families and the wider public.

He isn’t sorry for breaking the rules; he’s sorry he got caught – again.

Read More

Read More
Downing Street garden party: Boris Johnson apologises at PMQs as he confirms he ...

This follows numerous admissions during last December that government departments hosted parties throughout lockdown, including a Number 10 staff Christmas quiz.

He was quick to accept the resignations of former Health Secretary Matt Hancock for breaching lockdown rules and of ex-aide Allegra Stratton, so now when the Prime Minister is bang to rights, he too should go.

People suffered unimaginable loneliness, hurt and grief during the pandemic.

I can vividly recall the emails and calls I received from the loved ones of people in hospitals and care homes, mothers and fathers-to-be and those facing medical treatment alone.

They were all feeling isolated, but they stuck to the rules to protect themselves and others.

Our heroic key workers on the front line of this pandemic are still dealing with the effects of this Covid crisis, and they never got to enjoy the drinks or snacks the Prime Minister enjoyed the very day before he clapped for them.

We ask our leaders, regardless of party, to set an example and follow the laws they set for everyone else.

The cowardice of the Scottish Tories can also be seen from Douglas Ross’s belated call for the PM to resign and he must now stand by his words. By virtue of him being an MP, Douglas Ross can send his letter to the Tory backbench committee and demand Johnson resigns. That would be the action to back up his words.

This is an issue of leadership and integrity and on this, the PM has failed.

Labour leader Keir Starmer showed real leadership and was excoriating at PMQs in showing how utterly ludicrous the PM has become.

Boris Johnson has knowingly misled Parliament and has been dishonest with the British public. The party is over. He must resign.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.