South West London MPs have responded to the release of Sue Gray’s report and the subsequent statement by the Prime Minister to Parliament.
The report, which comes following an investigation by top civil servant Sue Gray into alleged lockdown-breaking parties said to have taken place in Downing Street in 2020 and 2021, found there were ‘failures of leadership and judgement’.
In his statement to parliament concerning the report, Boris Johnson issued an apology, announced changes to the organisational structure of Number 10 Downing Street, and asked for further judgements to wait until the Metropolitan Police investigation of some of the events is concluded.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for Kingston and Surbiton Ed Davey responded to the statement by asking: “Does the Prime Minister understand, does he care, about the enormous hurt his actions have caused to bereaved families across our country?”
“Will he finally accept that the only decent thing he can do is resign?”
Other South West London Liberal Democrat MPs echoed his words.
Sarah Olney, MP for Richmond Park, said: “There was and continues to be a vacuum of leadership, a culture of double standards and not a shred of accountability in sight.”
Olney called for Conservative MPs to oust Boris Johnson, a message shared by her Liberal Democrat colleague Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham.
Wilson said: “This country deserves so much better.
“Tory MPs must do the decent and patriotic thing and force him out.”
Local Labour MPs were also very critical.
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour MP for Streatham, added: “The only way we’ll get change is by voting out this rotten Government.”
On the other side of the aisle, some local voices defended the Prime Minister, such as Paul Scully, Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam and member of government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Minister of State for London.
Scully appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight on Monday, where he said: “The Prime Minister has recognised the fact that Number 10 has built up this culture that needs tackling.
“Clearly there was a failing here, that’s why he apologised, and it’s right that he tackles that.
“So we do need to make sure that we can move forward onto tackling the issues that people want to talk about.”
Scully also highlighted Johnson’s own serious illness when he contracted Covid-19 in March 2020, as well as the life events he lived through during the pandemic, such as the death of his mother, his wedding and the birth of his two youngest children.
More announcements are expected in the coming days regarding reforms to the Number 10 government operation.
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