‘Charlatan’ Boris Johnson slammed for ‘insincere’ apology over Downing Street parties and initial Sue Gray report

Boris Johnson “laughed, smirked and deflected” rather than own up to his role in lockdown-busting Downing Street parties, according to a South Tyneside MP.

By James Harrison
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 4:27 pm

Top civil servant Sue Gray finally delivered an update on her probe into claims of drinking sessions and other gatherings at the heart of government during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Failures of leadership” and “excessive consumption of alcohol” were among the highlights of the 12-page initial report - although the Metropolitan Police will have to complete its own investigation before the full findings have the opportunity to be made public.

And even then, the public may never get to find out whether or not the Prime Minister is fined for any rule breaking.

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Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street after receiving a version of Sue Gray's reporter. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

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“The Prime Minister showed no genuine contrition at all, his apology was insincere,” said South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, following a statement by Johnson to the House of Commons.

“He laughed, smirked, and deflected his way through his breaking of covid rules.

“We now know while the rest of us went through the most painful of times, Downing Street had 16 parties, 12 are being investigated by Police and the PM was at 3 of them.

Emma Lewell-Buck. Picture by FRANK REID

“His response has been to overhaul how Downing Street operates, blaming others in his team and taking zero responsibility himself.

“Each day this charlatan remains in office he damages our democracy - if he was genuinely sorry he would resign.”

Of 16 separate gatherings across Downing Street and wider Government between May 15, 2020, and April 16 last year investigated by Gray, 12 are now being probed by the Metropolitan Police.

It concludes that a “number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place”.

However, the report also conceded it is currently “not possible at present to provide a meaningful report” due to the force’s ongoing investigation.

However, according to police guidelines, even if any fines are handed out as a result of any confirmed breaches of Covid restrictions in place at the time, it would be up to Scotland Yard to decide whether to name individuals.

Writing on social media, Jarrow MP Kate Osborne said: “If he had any honour, Boris Johnson would resign immediately.”

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