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Amid mounting pressure on Boris Johnson, readers add their voices to calls for him to step down over the Downing Street parties scandal
I read Jonathan Freedland’s article (It’s a scandal that Boris Johnson ever got to No 10 – and shaming that he’s still there, 14 January) with interest and I entirely agree; what indeed will it say about Britain if Boris Johnson is allowed to get away with this? I am hoping that Sue Gray’s inquiry will be sufficiently damning to finally topple this prime minister, because even if he was not in attendance at these parties, they were carried out on his watch. Surely now Conservative ministers and MPs will not allow this to just move on, even after hearing grovelling apologies. It is an indisputable fact that salutary lessons will not be learned, and after a short moment for the necessary sackcloth-and-ashes routine, business will carry on as usual – and this will be outrageous.
Judith A Daniels
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
• Regardless of the hue, regardless of the political affiliations and ideologies, Britain has never been so badly served by a prime minister as it has been by Boris Johnson. What is gut-wrenching is that it has taken so long for the Tories to realise the dead weight they have been promoting to the highest office. As a socialist, of course I had concerns about the Camerons and Mays of this world, but everything was up for discussion/debate, at the very least, when they were in power.
Thatcher might have been a poisonous bulldozer in a china shop bent on destroying what so many hold dear, but at least you knew what you were dealing with. It gave us a fighting edge. For Johnson, at last, it seems his former supporters are seeing the writing on the wall. And perhaps they are realising how many of us have been traumatised beyond belief by the No 10 culture that saw all of us following Covid rules to keep each other safe while they flouted them with total disdain. The message that No 10 believed in protection and isolation rather than the devastation of herd immunity can no longer be upheld.
• With daily calls for Johnson to resign, I am looking forward to the day when we can refer to him as “the disgraced former prime minister”, a title which could not be better deserved. But surely culpability for getting us into this internationally embarrassing position also lies squarely with the parliamentary Tory party, whose members knew – probably better than most – the flaws in this man, yet for short-term electoral advantage were prepared to foist him on the British people. I only hope that the electorate’s anger and memory is sufficiently long to ensure that they pay the price at the next general election.
• Apologies (and especially what ultimately amount to non-apologies) come cheap, but explanations attract a higher premium. When politicians and civil servants apologise (sort of) for breaking Covid regulations, the import of which seem to have been screamingly clear to everyone else, they should be forced to explain precisely what patently obvious point they managed to miss and why.
Prof Trevor Curnow
• Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership. These are the Nolan principles – a formal and widely upheld code of behaviour applicable to most corners of public life. “I’m in the mood for dancing.” This is the Nolans’ principle – an informal and wildly upheld code of behaviour seemingly applicable to the corner of public life known as No 10.
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