Two Southwark Labour MPs have called for Boris Johnson to resign after the Prime Minister admitted today (Wednesday, January 12) that he had been at a party during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Johnson apologised in the House of Commons on Wednesday – but added that the May 2020 event was “technically within the rules” because he thought it was a work event – while admitting that millions would not see it that way.
Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle said that “Johnson insults everyone who followed the rules. He then adds injury to insult by attempting to cover it up.”
Outspoken Twitter user Coyle called for the Met Police to investigate the numerous rule-breaking Downing Street parties. The force have not launched enquiries yet – and are facing legal action from activist group the Good Law Project.
Police have said they do not investigate alleged Covid-19 breaches retrospectively, but were reportedly considering action in light of news about the latest party emerging.
Meanwhile Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes pointed out the inconsistency of Johnson’s comments about the Downing Street parties over recent months, adding: “Enough of the weasel words. Boris Johnson has never been fit to govern & he must now resign.”
The Prime Minister faces pressure from both Labour in opposition and his own MPs. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said at Prime Minister’s Questions that he should step down “after months of deceit and deception.”
Sir Keir added: “He’s finally been forced to admit what everyone knew, that when the whole country was locked down he was hosting boozing parties in Downing Street. Is he now going to do the decent thing and resign?”
If Johnson does not quit, the mechanism that would force him out is if 54 out of 359 Tory MPs sent letters to the 1922 Committee, which organises the party’s leadership contests.
Several Tories have called for him to step down, but others appear more convinced by his apology.
Johnson said people should wait for the outcome of a civil service inquiry into the parties, which will report its findings “as soon as possible”.