'The World Has Moved On': Minister Says PM Shouldn't Resign Over Partygate

Officials who sang karaoke in Downing Street during lockdown are among those handed fines by the police.
Officials who partied in the Number 10 garden are among those fined for breaking lockdown rules.
Officials who partied in the Number 10 garden are among those fined for breaking lockdown rules.
James Manning via PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson should not resign if he is fined over partygate because “the world has moved on”, a senior minister has claimed.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said the “vast majority” of voters in his constituency want the prime minister to stay in place.

And he said the last thing the country needs right now is a “self-indulgent” Tory leadership contest.

His comments came as it was reported Number 10 officials have been handed fines for attending lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street.

According to The Guardian, the Metropolitan Police have concluded that a gathering on April 16 last year - the night before Prince Philip’s funeral - broke the Covid regulations that were in place at the time.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Helen McNamara, Whitehall’s former ethics chief, was among those given a fixed penalty notice for being at the party.

Asked on Sky News whether Boris Johnson should resign if he is also fined, Hart said: “I have 65,000 constituents in west Wales, where I represent, and they are not shy in coming forward and expressing a view about this and a number of other subjects.

“And throughout all of this saga of the Downing Street parties they have said one thing very clearly, and in a vast majority they say they want contrition and they want an apology, but they don’t want a resignation.”

He added: “The idea that it might be appropriate to have a six-week, self-indulgent leadership contest - frankly, I don’t think that’s very sensible.

″We all make judgements that we’ve had time to reflect on and wish we’d made differently. For me personally, I think the world has moved on a considerable distance.

“I trust the views of the people who elected me in saying ’look, put this problem right, make sure you apologise, you acted inappropriately at the time’. But the idea that every politician, or indeed every journalist for that matter, who makes a misjudgment along the way should automatically be sacked is not something I subscribe to.”


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