SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the contents of the report into breaches of lockdown rules in Downing Street completed by senior civil servant Sue Gray would, in a functioning democracy, spell the end of Boris Johnson’s Tory administration.
Mr Eastwood said that the personal, professional and political failures detailed in the report fall squarely at the feet of Boris Johnson and make a mockery of the immense sacrifices that others made throughout the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking following the publication of the report today, Colum Eastwood MP said:
“All across these islands, ordinary, decent people were thrust into the most extraordinary circumstances over the last two years and faced with every day choices to bend or break the severe restrictions placed on them, the vast majority stuck by the rules. They stuck by the rules when it meant missing a loved one’s funeral. They stuck by the rules when it meant giving up precious time with friends and family that they would never see again. The very least they could expect is that the Prime Minister would stick by those rules too.
“The conclusions of the report completed by Sue Gray could not be starker. A Prime Minister who broke the rules himself, who created a culture of breaking the rules among his staff and aides and who then went on to lie about it in the House of Commons has no authority to lead. Every day Boris Johnson went to Westminster and lied about what happened in Downing Street, lied that the rules were followed, lied that there were no parties, he undermined the sacrifices that others made. He has trampled on the pain that so many endured for so long.
“There is no expectation that Johnson will resign. He has no shame, no sense of public duty and takes no responsibility for anything he does. To show any amount of contrition, much less to act on it, would be breaking the habit of a lifetime. So, he must be removed from office. Each Tory MP who refuses to take the necessary action to remove Johnson is lending their support to the corruption of government and public service.”