John issues statement to Mercury on Downing Street Party reports

This article was written by Carrington Walker and published on The Weston Mercury.

Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption champion has said ‘justice will have to be done promptly’ once an inquiry releases its findings on whether Downing Street partied during lockdown.

Yesterday (January 12), the Prime Minister apologised to the House of Commons for attending what he believed to be a work event in his garden after it was revealed an email invited around 100 people asking them to bring their own booze.

Weston MP John Penrose, who was appointed by Boris Johnson to be anti-corruption champion in 2019, was one of the 99 Tory MPs to rebel against his vaccine passport mandate last month.

Mr Penrose told the Mercury that the Prime Minister was right to apologise, though many questions remain to be answered.

He said: “Like most people, I have been extremely concerned about reports of parties or other gatherings in Downing Street that might have broken the covid rules, at a time when the entire country was trying to minimise the risks of infecting our families, friends or work colleagues.

“So the Prime Minister was right to apologise for attending a staff event in the Downing Street garden, but I am afraid there are still a good many questions which remain to be answered.

“We need to let the independent inquiry complete its work rather than prejudging what it will find but, once we have a clear picture of the remaining facts, justice will have to be done promptly.”

An independent inquiry is underway and being headed by senior civil servant, Sue Gray.

Prime Minster’s Questions on January 12 was the first public appearance made by Boris Johnson since the latest piece of evidence to suggest Covid rules may have been broken by Downing Street ministers and staff by holding a string of parties while the UK was in lockdown.

More than 10 parties are reported to have taken place in Downing Street during these lockdowns.