Tory MP accuses PM of misleading Parliament over partygate

·2-min read
Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading Parliament.
Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading Parliament.

Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading Parliament by one of his own MPs as discontent among Tories grows after the Sue Gray report.

Conservative MPs Sir Bob Neil and Alicia Kears both question the Prime Minister's insistence in Parliament that he had not broken Covid-19 rules by attending leaving-dos during lockdown.

Ms Kearns said the report into lawbreaking parties in Downing Street during the height of Covid restrictions showed that Mr Johnson had been “complicit in the holding of many goodbye parties for his staff”.

The backbencher said this “displayed a complete disregard” for Covid restrictions in place at the time.

The Rutland and Melton MP said she had reached the conclusion that the “Prime Minister’s account of events to Parliament was misleading”.

When the initial partygate reports surfaced, the Prime Minister assured the House of Commons that coronavirus rules were followed.

READ MORE: Three Tory MPs call for Johnson to quit after Sue Gray report

However, the recently released report by the civil servant found that Mr Johnson attended a number of leaving-dos in No 10 during the lockdown months in England.

He has insisted these were work events, which he claimed was backed up by the Metropolitan Police not issuing him with a fine for attending.

Boris Johnson was fined for joining a short birthday bash in June 2020 when indoor mixing was forbidden.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Ms Kearns has also handed in a no-confidence letter to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs.

HeraldScotland: Alicia Kearns
HeraldScotland: Alicia Kearns

Alicia Kearns

In her social media post, Ms Kearns added: “To say we just need to ‘move on’ is to treat with contempt and disregard the sacrifices of … our entire country.

“My position remains unchanged since January, and the Prime Minister continues not to hold my confidence.”

Meanwhile, Sir Bob Neill confirmed he had submitted a letter of no confidence to the 1922 Committee with a "heavy heart".

He said the events listed in the Sue Gray report "undermined trust in not just the office of the Prime Minister, but in the political process itself".

"To rebuild that trust and move on, a change in leadership is required," his statement added.

Sir Bob said that he did not think Boris Johnson's explanations were "credible".

A vote on the Prime Minister’s future will be held if 54 of his MPs write to Sir Graham demanding a confidence vote in their leader.

At least 20 Tories have publicly called for his resignation so far, although more may have penned letters given it is a secret process.

Friday also saw Home Secretary Priti Patel’s parliamentary aide, Tory MP Paul Holmes, quit the role due to the “toxic culture” in No 10 uncovered by Ms Gray.

READ MORE: UK ministers will not automatically lose job for breaking ministerial code