Johnson’s defence over partygate ‘beggars belief’, say public

Boris Johnson has been accused of a sense of entitlement by voters and bereaved families who have said his defence to partygate events “beggars belief”.

The former prime minister has accepted he misled the House of Commons when he insisted in December 2021 that all pandemic rules were followed, but has denied doing so deliberately, saying he was acting “in good faith” on the advice of his senior team.

Campaign group 38 Degrees said it had joined the Covid Bereaved Families for Justice UK campaign group in driving an ad van around Westminster on Wednesday covered in messages for the former Tory party leader ahead of his appearance before the Privileges Committee.

Retired nurse Sue Shrapnell, who lives in Mr Johnson’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, said the parliamentarian had broken the trust voters should be able to have in their MPs.

The 73-year-old said: “How can he possibly claim that he didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong when he was the one making the rules? It beggars belief, it’s absolutely impossible that he didn’t know.

“You would have to be very stupid not to know that what was going on was against the rules, and Boris Johnson is a foolish man, but he isn’t a stupid man.

“I also worry that it will affect public health in future: why should people do as they’re told, when they know that these people in positions of power and responsibility were just doing whatever they wanted, while they expected the rest of us to follow the rules?

“As a constituent, I feel there’s no point going to Boris Johnson with anything because he’s proven how untrustworthy he is – he has broken the trust that I feel I should be able to have in my constituency MP.”

Another member of the public accused Mr Johnson of being a “privileged person” who had not made the sacrifices others did during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

In a message to Mr Johnson, Sandra Lambie, from Paisley, said: “You are a privileged person, you received privileged care while having Covid.

“My father did not receive the same treatment and passed away in hospital alone, while we made sacrifices asked of us, you did not. You actually risked spreading this dangerous virus around by your sense of entitlement, by thinking that you were above the law, above the rules made by you and your incompetent government.

“Too busy partying to even consider what was happening to our care home residents, care home staff, our nurses and doctors, who already saved your life during your hospital stay for Covid. You are not fit to serve us, you are not fit for any part in our government.”

Linda Sherwood, from Scarborough, said she was not able to see her dying mother “because of regulations your Government imposed while you were enjoying the company of others at alcohol-fuelled parties”.

She added: “Your hypocrisy disgusts me, you are unworthy to remain as a representative of the people.”