Scarborough and Whitby MP Sir Robert Goodwill speaks out on Downing Street parties during lockdown
MP Sir Robert Goodwill says there should be “consequences” for those people who organised and attended the 10 Downing Street parties, held at the height of lockdown.
Several Conservative MPs have called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign, after his admission that he attended the now-infamous No 10 drinks party on May 20 2020.
The Prime Minister apologised in the House of Commons last week, and insists he believed it was a work meeting, despite an invitation email advising staffers to “bring your own booze”.
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That party, and several other alleged breaches inside Downing Street and Whitehall over the past 18 months, are to be investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray. Her findings could trigger the Prime Minister’s downfall.
At the time of the May 20 party, police forces were being instructed by the Government to take action over any breaches of the Covid-19 restrictions in place, two months into the first national lockdown.
Sir Robert told The Scarborough News: “I have had quite a number of emails expressing irritation that whilst the rest of us were complying with the rules during lockdown, events were being held in No 10 which, despite being a workplace, appeared to be mainly social in nature.
“We will need to wait for Sue Gray’s report to know exactly what was going on but if rules were being broken then there should be consequences for those who organised and attended them.
“I know that many people were separated from loved ones, cancelled weddings or were unable to attend funerals during lockdown, and that was tough for us all.
“The rules must apply to everyone in this situation.”
Sir Robert has been a staunch supporter in the past of Mr Johnson, and of the other prime ministers under whom he has served.
When asked if Mr Johnson should resign, he said: “We need to wait for the conclusions of the [Sue Gray] report.”
Mr Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings has said he personally warned the Prime Minister in advance about the May 20 drinks party, but claimed the Prime Minister “waved it aside”.
The claims have been denied by Downing Street.
A No 10 spokesperson said: “It is untrue that the Prime Minister was warned about the event in advance.
“As he said earlier this week he believed implicitly that this was a work event.
“He has apologised to the House and is committed to making a further statement once the investigation concludes.”
Sir Robert received a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honour list.
He has served as a Whip, and Minister of State in four Government departments.