‘Pathetic’ Boris Johnson accused of ‘lies and corruption’ by furious LGBT+ MPs
Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday (12 January) saw four separate calls for Boris Johnson’s resignation after he attended a Downing Street party in May 2020.
Johnson was already under fire for a leaked video showing No 10 staff laughing at a mock press conference on 22 December 2020, where they practiced denying the existence of an alleged Downing Street Christmas party.
Then, a photo surfaced, taken on 15 May 2020, which showed the Boris and Carrie Johnson with staff in the Downing Street garden enjoying wine and cheeseboards. Afterwards Johnson insisted that “those people were at work talking about work”.
But this week saw yet another damning revelation, this time in the form of an email from Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting around 100 people to a “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020.
Senior civil servant Sue Gray is currently conducting an internal investigation into the reports of lockdown parties at Downing Street.
During PMQs this week, Johnson was finally forced to face the music after lying low since the email surfaced.
He offered a non-apology, insisting he “believed implicitly that this was a work event” while acknowledging that “there are millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way”.
Since then, it has been reported by The Telegraph that Downing Street staff held two parties on the night before Prince Philip’s funeral. Taking place on 16 April, the first was a leaving do for James Slack, Johnson’s then-director of communications who was taking on a new role as deputy editor of The Sun.
The second took place on the same night in the basement of No 10 and was a gathering for one of Johnson’s personal photographers. Both parties took place through to the early hours the next morning. Later that day, the Queen sat alone at her husband’s funeral.
Lawmakers from across the political spectrum have slammed the prime minister and called for his resignation, but none have done it better than our proud LGBT+ MPs.
Layla Moran described Boris Johnson as a ‘pathetic liability’
Following PMQs, pansexual Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran took to Twitter, describing Boris Johnson’s defence as “pathetic” and “unbelievable”.
PM admits he went to the Party. He apologises. But still thinks it was within the rules. Pathetic. Unbelievable. Meanwhile I’ve had emails saying people are sick to their stomachs. That they didn’t see loved ones. Their mental health suffered. Resign Boris. Now.
— Layla Moran ? (@LaylaMoran) January 12, 2022
Boris Johnson's apology rang hollow. He has become a liability to the response to the pandemic.
Speaking to the BBC, she added: “He still has not accepted that he broke any rules. He admitted it looked bad. He says he understands how people are feeling, but actually his words rung hollow.
“Now he has become a liability to the response to the pandemic and that is why he has to go.”
Wes Streeting says Boris Johnson ‘is not fit to lick the boots of NHS staff’
Gay Labour MP and shadow secretary of state for health and social care Wes Streeting insisted that Boris Johnson was not “fit to lick the boots of NHS staff”.
Responding to Johnson’s so-called “apology”, he said in parliament on Thursday (12 January): “That wasn’t an apology. It was the most shameful performance by a prime minister in the House of Commons in living memory.”
Streeting also told health secretary Sajid Javid: “The secretary of state has a duty to inoculate the government’s pandemic response from a toxic, radioactive prime minister.
“The public has concluded the prime minister is unfit for office.”
He added: “The prime minister is not fit to lick the boots of NHS staff in this country.”
If you’re wondering why the Health Secretary was so rattled in the House of Commons today, this is why.
He has defended the indefensible.
People have concluded the PM is unfit for office. If the Health Secretary isn’t careful we will draw the same conclusion about him. pic.twitter.com/qgOpUZm2CS— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) January 13, 2022
NEW: @sajidjavid and @wesstreeting trade fiery blows in the House of Commons, with the latter returning (unscheduled) to the dispatch box to say that the Prime Minister is "not fit to lick the boots" of NHS staff. pic.twitter.com/vIfPlSq8Cr
— Adam Cailler ?️ (@acailler) January 13, 2022
Charlotte Nichols: Boris is ‘corrosive to our democracy’
Bisexual Labour Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols gave a searing criticism of the prime minister in an interview with the Warrington Guardian.
She said: “Boris Johnson’s arrogance and incompetence make his leaving inevitable. If you pass hugely restrictive laws, endlessly recite the restrictions, strictly enforce them so that some people are prosecuted and fined while others cannot see their loved ones die or their children be born, then you must at least follow them.
“To have broken his own laws was arrogant, and then to lie and pretend that he didn’t treats us all with contempt.
“Nothing positive can now be accomplished by a prime minister who is viewed by the public with not just anger but ridicule. He is an enormous distraction from the challenges that need to be addressed.
“He must know that his days are numbered by either the public or his party, so for his own respect and the good of the country he should resign now.
“To have a prime minister debase his office in the way that Johnson has is utterly corrosive to our democracy and public confidence in Parliament.”
Nadia Whittome slammed the Tory government’s ‘constant lies and corruption’
Nadia Whittome, a queer Labour MP, took to Twitter to insist that Boris Johnson “should have resigned long ago”.
Boris Johnson should resign – he should have resigned long ago.
This is about more than his attendance at an illegal party – it's also the constant lies, the corruption, and the failings that cost lives in the pandemic.
She said the problem was much larger than boozy Downing Street lockdown parties, it was “also the constant lies, the corruption, and the failings that cost lives in the pandemic.”
Angela Eagle thinks it might be ‘faster if Sue Gray investigated days there weren’t parties in Downing Street’
Speaking in parliament on Thursday, lesbian Labour MP Dame Angela Eagle suggested: “Perhaps it would be better if Sue Gray investigated days there weren’t parties in Downing Street.”
Perhaps it would be easier if Sue Grey were to investigate the days when there weren’t parties in Downing St #PartyGate #ResignJohnson pic.twitter.com/rpRazOKWvB— Angela Eagle DBE (@angelaeagle) January 11, 2022
She continued: ”We know an invite to a bring your own bottle party was sent out for the 20 May when 268 people died in hospital that day.
“We know that it was illegal to meet anyone outside of your own household except one person. So what is there to wait for? The prime minister should come here now and fess up and tell us what happened.”
Ruth Davidson: Downing Street party ‘cannot be defended’
Ahead of the PMQs, former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson addressed the latest Downing Street party revelations, which she said “cannot be defended.”
Speaking to BBC News on Tuesday (11 January), Davidson added: “There were tens of thousands of key workers across the country.
“I don’t think hospital nurses and doctors were in the hospital garden after their shift ended having a glass of rosé.
“I don’t think bin men were playing beer pong back in the garage when they finished their rounds.
“I don’t think that people making sure the country still had food in Tesco or Morrisons or Asda were having a big shindig get together in the loading docks when their shift ended.”
Tory MP William Wragg says it is ‘preferable’ for Boris Johnson to resign
Although most LGBT+ Conservatives were entirely silent on the topic of the lockdown parties, gay MP William Wragg, who is also vice president of the 1922 committee which organises Conservative leadership contests, described his actions as “indefensible”.
Speaking to the BBC, Wragg said it would be “preferable” for Johnson to resign, adding that Tory MPs were “frankly worn out of defending what is invariably indefensible”.
He added: “I cannot in all sincerity see a way where these issues go away… the inevitable conclusion is the only way to do that is with a change.”
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