Midlothian MP reveals his fury at PM over Partygate as MPs approve another investigation

Midlothian’s MP last week demanded an investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the Partygate scandal, with MPs agreeing to refer the PM to the Privileges Committee.

By Kevin Quinn
Monday, 25th April 2022, 3:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 8:59 am
Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP).
Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP).

Owen Thompson (SNP) spoke on the motion raised in the House of Commons by opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer last week to consider whether the PM’s conduct during the ongoing Partygate scandal has amounted to a contempt of the House.

Mr Thompson said “The Prime Minister willfully broke the law on his own Covid rules and remains under investigation over additional lawbreaking. It is right and proper that he must now be investigated by the Privilege Committee in light of his failure to resign.

Boris Johnson is a serial liar who misled parliament, deceived voters and has forfeited any right to remain in office. These lockdown parties happened while the public were adhering to Covid restrictions and faced a potential fine of up to £10,000 for breaching the rules.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The Prime Minister reportedly attended six of these 12 parties under investigation by the Met, was issued a fixed penalty notice for his lockdown birthday party in June 2020, as was his wife and the Chancellor, and at a time when many of my constituents were facing real hardship and suffering the loss of their loved ones.

“The PM’s unlawful actions have greatly undermined the Ministerial Code and the Nolan Principles, and will render these redundant if he continues to lead with impunity. He should do the decent thing and resign.”

Responding to Mr Thompson’s comments, a Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “We share the anger among the public at the behaviour in Downing Street during the pandemic. It was completely unacceptable.

“People in Midlothian and across the country made enormous sacrifices to control the virus and many will still be grieving the loss of loved ones.

“However, as we see Vladimir Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine continue, we don’t believe now is the right time to change Prime Minister. That would only destabilise the United Kingdom and play into the hands of Putin, at a time when we must be focused on defeating him and supporting the people of Ukraine.”

Partygate is a political scandal regarding parties and other gatherings of government and Conservative Party staff held during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, when public health restrictions prohibited most gatherings.

Civil Servant Sue Gray has written a report about the gatherings, which will not be published in full until the Met Police have concluded their own investigation.

It is expected that the Priviliges Committee will then look into whether or not the Prime Minister deliberately misled Parliament on the issue, when he denied any such parties took place.