Boris Johnson and Met Police must explain themselves to public over partygate pictures, says Kirsten Oswald MP
The Prime Minister and the Metropolitan Police must explain themselves, a leading SNP Westminster figure has said, after pictures emerged of Boris Johnson toasting a colleague at a leaving do during lockdown.
Kirsten Oswald, the deputy SNP Westminster leader, said it was now time for Mr Johnson to explain himself as pictures of him drinking at a party allegedly taken during the height of the pandemic surfaced.
Ms Oswald also said clarity around the pictures in question was “somewhat lacking”, adding it “would be good to hear from the Met”.
Four pictures, posted by ITV news, are said to have been taken on November 13, 2020 at a leaving do for the PM's director of communications Lee Cain.
At least one person who attended has been fined by the police. However, Mr Johnson himself was not.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has also called on the Prime Minister to explain himself over the images.
Mr Ross initially called for the PM to quit when the partygate saga first emerged, and then U-turned when the war in Ukraine began and said it was not the right time for a leadership contest.
Following the emergence of the pictures, former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said “it is now clear” Boris Johnson lied to Parliament and that his position was “untenable”.
Speaking to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland on Tuesday, Ms Oswald said: “It’s absolutely time now that we hear from Sue Gray, but the person we should also be hearing from in all this is the Prime Minister himself.
"It’s for him to explain why he has not been frank with Parliament and I must say I think that will be a very difficult thing for him to do in any way that’s persuasive.
“The photographs speak for themselves. It’s really clear and it couldn’t be clearer actually. We all know what a party looks like when it’s photographed and there it was in front of us in all it’s glory; the empty glasses, the half-empty bottles, the people and that includes the Prime Minister there raising his glass.”
Ms Oswald said the Prime Minister had spun “all manners of different stories at various stages of this fiasco”.
The deputy Westminster chief whip said: "These photographs demonstrate once again that what we have here is a Prime Minister that does not think the rules he set which he urged the rest of us to follow, which we did follow, apply to him.”
A No 10 spokeswoman said senior civil servant Sue Gray would be publishing her report into the gatherings "in the coming days, at which point the Prime Pinister will address Parliament in full".
Asked if Ms Gray’s investigation should be reopened if the pictures are not included in the report, Ms Oswald said: “I think that’s a really valid question. So obviously, none of us know what the photographs would be which Sue Gray would have, but the photographs that we have all now seen emerging I think certainly paint a very clear picture, so they should certainly form part of any considerations.”