Sue Gray’s update has revealed 16 parties have taken place in Downing Street during lockdown – 12 of which are being investigated by the police.
The update provides further confirmation of the “one rule for us, another rule for everyone else” attitude of this UK Tory government – and shows that Boris Johnson’s position is completely untenable.
Boris Johnson broke lockdown rules that he has set
After the initial Daily Mirror story broke about the Christmas parties at Downing Street, Boris Johnson said – in the House of Commons on 1 December – that “all guidance was followed completely in No 10.”
On 13 December, he told Sky News: “I certainly broke no rules”.
"I certainly broke no rules"
Prime Minister Boris Johnson responds to further questions regarding a number of Christmas parties that allegedly took place in Downing Street last year.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 13, 2021
Sue Gray’s update states that “a number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place”, and that they represent “failures of leadership and judgment”.
This is conclusive evidence that the rule-breaking events did happen – those who set the rules broke the rules, while the rest of us followed the rules and made extraordinary sacrifices.
Boris Johnson misled Parliament
It is clear the Prime Minister knew about events, attended them, and was lying to Parliament when he claimed otherwise.
To claim that he thought a party was a “work event” – with tables of alcohol and snacks, and a Downing Street email telling 100 invitees to “bring your own booze” – clearly shows that Boris Johnson is taking everyone for fools.
🍹 Boris Johnson held a BYOB garden party in lockdown for 100 people – when rules meant we could only meet one other person outdoors.
🔎 Four days later, he told the nation his adviser had "no alternative" but to breach lockdown.
🤷♀️ Did Boris have "no alternative" but to party? pic.twitter.com/izGyKyJtpf
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 15, 2022
He must now resign or be removed from office
Misleading Parliament is a resignation matter in itself – but just as important is the fact that the Prime Minister and his Downing Street team were breaking the rules that they had imposed.
There cannot be one rule for Boris Johnson and another for the rest of us. He must now resign or be removed by Tory MPs.
👇 The party is over. Boris Johnson must resign or MPs must show him the door. pic.twitter.com/tu85D637iH
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 13, 2022
Westminster is broken and Scotland deserves better
Above all, this whole scandal shows that the Westminster system is broken beyond repair.
Whether it’s partying during lockdown, breaking their own rules, or imposing cruel cuts while enriching their cronies, Scotland deserves much better than corrupt UK Tory governments that we consistently reject.
🔎 In Boris Johnson’s foreword for the Ministerial Code from 2019, he promises:
🤦♀️ “No leaking”
🤦♀️ “No misuse of taxpayer money”
🤦♀️ “No actual or perceived conflicts of interest”
🤦♀️ “Integrity, accountability, transparency, honesty”
🏴 Scotland can do so much better than this. pic.twitter.com/M1pt9X0d6T
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 18, 2022