Ruth Davidson: Boris Johnson is treating country like fools over partygate

In her newspaper column, the former Scottish Tory leader has called on MPs to act following the Sue Gray report into Downing Street lockdown parties.

26 May 2022

Boris Johnson is treating the country “like fools”, Ruth Davidson has said, following Sue Gray’s report into partygate.

The senior civil servant’s report, released on Wednesday, outlined drunkenness and partying at Downing Street while the country was under strict coronavirus lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

Ms Gray said “senior leadership” should “bear responsibility” for the scandal which saw officials drink so much they were sick, sing karaoke and verbally abuse security and cleaning staff.

The Prime Minister, his wife Carrie, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were issued fixed penalty notices for their involvement earlier this year – now Mr Johnson has insisted he “overwhelmingly” believes he should continue to lead the country.

Downing Street partygate
Ruth Davidson has blasted the conduct of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

But in her Evening Standard column, former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has urged Tory MPs to get rid of their leader following his “incomprehensible” actions.

She wrote: “I have made no secret of the fact I’ve been pretty appalled at the very idea that those imposing the harshest and most restrictive laws ever imposed on our country in peacetime, didn’t abide by those same laws themselves.

“I have found it incomprehensible that a prime minister asking for so much sacrifice from so many, would not just preside over, but participate in, such flagrant and widespread rule breaking.

“For me, if you aren’t leading by example in a time of national crisis, then you aren’t leading at all.”

Her views is in contrast to current Scottish Tory leader, and MP, Douglas Ross, who insisted Mr Johnson should remain as Prime Minister because of the war in Ukraine.

However, he said an investigation by the Privileges Committee could change his mind if it found Mr Johnson to have knowingly misled MPs.

Ms Davidson said it was “not acceptable” for Mr Johnson to be a “lawbreaker” before standing up in the Commons to “lie” about it.

She continued: “To have the Government – from the Prime Minister down – seek to explain away many of these events as leaving dos that were simply an extension of the working day treats the country like fools.

“People at home know that leaving dos weren’t allowed under the rules. They know that they, and ordinary people like them, across this country couldn’t even say goodbye to a dying relative, while those in power decided a press officer getting a new job was reason enough to party.

“The goings on in Downing Street at a time of national crisis were unforgiveable. And I do not doubt that those who lost so many and sacrificed so much will not forgive.

“Why Conservative MPs are sitting on their hands, I do not know.”

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