Partygate: Harper slams ministers for 'defending the indefensible'
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson should stop sending Conservative MPs and politicians to media interviews in a desperate bid to save his face amid the latest party gate scandal revelations, Tory MP Mark Harper lashed out. Insiders attending some lockdown-busting Downing Street parties confessed to BBC Panorama that dozens of staff gathered until the early hours of the morning, sat on each other’s laps and left bins overflowing with rubbish at the height of the pandemic when such gatherings were prohibited. The most damning report of Boris Johnson is a photo of the Prime Minister showing him raising a toast with at least six colleagues around a table in Downing Street.
Speaking to BBC Politics, Mr Harper raged: “I’m fed up – and I said this in the House of Commons – with my colleagues and a number of decent men and women who are being asked to go out on the television day after day and saying things that are frankly ridiculous and defending the indefensible.
“That’s not what a leader should do.
“When the Prime Minister gets asked about these things on television, he says he can’t talk until the Sue Gray report comes out.
“And yet, ministers are sent out every day to frankly have to defend things that are, as I said, aren’t defensible.”
“And not being straight with people is a real problem.
“That’s why I said to the Prime Minister that I felt he wasn’t worthy of his office, and he should go.
“And I said that when he’s been found guilty of breaking the law.”
Boris Johnson along with his wife and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak each received a fixed-penalty notice for breaching coronavirus rules at Mr Johnson’s lockdown-breaking birthday party in June 2020.
However, the Met police notified the Prime Minister he will not face further fines.
“And I felt like being straight with people and I stick to that view”, Mr Harper added.
“And I think that everything that has happened since supports it.
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“My colleagues this week, when Sue Gray’s report is published – we think tomorrow – are going to have to make their decision whether they’re prepared to go along with it or not.”
Whether the Sue Gray report into the events held at Downing Street could trigger a no-confidence vote remains unclear.
At least 54 Tory MPs must send letters to the 1922 Committee to launch a no-confidence motion.
The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope, citing an unnamed Tory rebel, reports the number of letters sent to the committee is now in the high 40s.
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