'Boris Johnson should resign' - South Tyneside MPs react to first fines issued in 'partygate' probe of Downing Street lockdown-busting gatherings
South Tyneside’s MPs have repeated calls for Boris Johnson to quit, after Scotland Yard announced it would be fining 20 people over allegations of lockdown-busting parties at the heart of government.
The Metropolitan Police has refused to name those hit with penalty notices, in line with guidance from the College of Policing, although officials in Downing Street have promised to confirm if the Prime Minister himself is handed one.
The probe into the gatherings started earlier this year and is expected to continue, raising the prospect of even more people being told to pay for breaking lockdown coronavirus rules in place at the time.
And according to Jarrow MP Kate Osborne, the latest revelations into the long-running ‘partygate’ affair have once again showed Johnson is not fit for public office.
she said: "The vast majority of people have followed Covid rules impeccably throughout the pandemic, but it seems as though Downing Street think they are above the law.
"The Tories have tried to brush the reports of parties under the rug in recent weeks and dismiss the scandal as ‘fluff’, but the UK public will not accept that.
"Boris Johnson should resign."
No 10 has insisted Boris Johnson did not mislead MPs when he told them no lockdown rules had been broken in Downing Street, despite the Metropolitan Police concluding the law was breached.
The Prime Minister is not believed to be among those in line for a fine at this point – despite it being understood he was present at six of the at least 12 events being probed – as he is contesting the allegations and took advice from his personal lawyer on how to respond.
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck echoed the sentiments of her Labour Party colleague in the borough.
She said: “Downing Street parties broke lockdown rules.
“[Boris Johnson] partied whilst people watched their loved ones die over zoom, unable to visit them during their final hours.
“Lacking any decency, he won’t stand down, his MPs need to stop propping him up and force him out of Number 10.”