Boris Johnson Told To Resign As Ministers Hide From Media

Labour's Angela Rayner said: "If he has misled parliament and he has not abided by that code, then he should go.”
Rayner, Johnson and Davey
Rayner, Johnson and Davey
HuffPost UK

Boris Johnson was told to resign this morning as government ministers hid from the media.

The prime minister is under serious pressure to divulge whether or not he attended a “bring your own booze” party in the No10 garden on May 20, 2020.

Wednesday will be the toughest day of his leadership yet with mutinous Conservatives saying he should quit if he broke lockdown rules.

It is rumoured that Johnson could make a statement in the Commons before prime minister’s questions kicks off at midday.

It is the second time in a month that ministers have been pulled from interviews due to devastating revelations of parties in Downing Street.

Last month ministers ducked the morning media round after a leaked video showed government aides joking about a “fictional” Christmas party in 2020. The scandal resulted in the resignation of senior aide Allegra Stratton.

This morning Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said Johnson should quit over the latest claims if he had “any shred of decency left in him”.

The former cabinet minister told BBC Breakfast: “Boris Johnson is now incapable of leading our country through this public health crisis – I actually think he is a threat to the health of the nation, because no-one will do anything he says because he has now shown to have been deceitful, so Boris Johnson must now resign.

“He said to parliament and to the country before Christmas when he was apologising that he didn’t know about the parties, and now we know he was at at least one of those parties.

“So, he has clearly lied, he has broken the ministerial code, he has broken the law, he’s misled parliament – any prime minister in the past would resign for just one of those offences.

“These are grievous, grievous errors. So if he was at the party, and it looks very clear that he was, then he must now go, he must now resign.”

He added: “If he has a shred of decency left in him, I think he must resign today.”

Asked about the serious allegations Johnson lied to parliament and the public, the prime minister’s official spokesman said yesterday: “You’ve seen what the prime minister has said about this previously. I point you back to his previous words but beyond that I’m not going to comment.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said Johnson’s position would be “untenable” if it is proved he had attended parties in contravention of lockdown rules.

She added: “You just have to say, were you at this party or not on May 20?

“He can clear this up very quickly and he has refused to do so, so far, and he has really undermined the office of prime minister by letting this carry on and continue because he refuses to tell the British public what they deserve to hear, and that’s whether or not he broke the lockdown rules and whether he was at this party or not.”

Asked whether Labour would call for Johnson to resign if he admits to attending the bash, Rayner said: “The ministerial code is very clear that if he has misled parliament and he has not abided by that code, then he should go.”

She said if it is proved he “lied to the British public, lied to parliament and he has attended parties during lockdown, then his position is untenable”.

However, Tory MP Huw Merriman said the PM does not need to resign if he attended the party, adding: “As far as I’m concerned we judge people in the round. That includes the action that was taken during the pandemic, the support, the vaccination programme, (and) holding the nerve on Plan B.

“Then you then judge where people have done wrong.”

Johnson has ordered an inquiry by senior civil servant Sue Gray who is looking into multiple claims of social gatherings in government during covid restrictions.

Despite huge public and press interest, ministers and the prime minister’s official spokesman have refused to go into details while Gray’s investigation is ongoing.

Pressed on why they will not discuss it, Johnson’s spokesman told journalists on Tuesday: “It’s simply the case that we wouldn’t want to be seen to be prejudging that ongoing work.”

Meanwhile, minister Michael Ellis insisted Johnson was “going nowhere” and dismissed suggestions he should resign if he broke rules.


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