Boris Johnson has been warned that his position is «untenable» if he intentionally attends a «bring your own liquor» party at Park 10 in violation of Covid rules.
The British prime minister is under increasing pressure to say whether he will be at the rally in May 2020 after an email from his chief private secretary Martin Reynolds to Downing Street staff on Monday was leaked to ITV News.
Downing Street declined to say if he was in attendance, despite reports that he and his wife, Carrie, were among about 30 people who attended at a time when such gatherings were banned.
Johnson said it concerns Sue Gray, the senior civil servant investigating a series of reported parties in Downing Street and elsewhere in Whitehall during 2020.
However, Conservative MP Nigel Mills cautioned that no prominent figure who willingly attended the event could have a position defining Covid-19 policy.
«It’s absolutely untenable, we’ve seen people quit for much less,» he told BBC News.
If the Prime Minister had knowingly attended a party, I can’t see how he could have survived having accepted much fewer resignations.
“He accepted the resignation of his spokesperson (Allegra Stratton) for not attending a party but joking about it at a much lighter time than restrictions. I just think that is untenable.”
Mills added: «I don’t think we need an investigation to see if the prime minister was there. He knows if he was there or not. Just go out and say what happened.»
«If there was, he’d better make a very generous apology and see if the country would buy it but I’m not sure they would.»
Earlier, Scottish Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross again warned that Johnson could not continue in 10th place if he was found to have misled Parliament.
He said the Prime Minister should not wait for Ms Gray’s report to say if he was present at the event on May 20, 2020.
«He’s sure to come up to the prime minister’s questions tomorrow, so why don’t we come forward now, and tell the audience: Was he at the party or not?» Mr. Ross told the Palestinian News Agency.
But I do not doubt that any member – Prime Minister or otherwise – deliberately misleading Parliament cannot continue. They will have to resign.»
Sir Charles Walker, deputy chair of the 1922 Conservative Party Committee, said there was a lot of anger over what had happened, and said the prime minister urgently needed to rebuild public confidence.
I think the Prime Minister needs to spend the next six months restoring confidence in Number 10 and making some good, strong decisions. «I think that’s the challenge for him,» he told Channel 4 news.
Asked if Johnson had all this time to regain support, Sir Charles said: «This is a matter for him to decide, and for the Parliamentary party to decide. But I think the Prime Minister is a fighter and would want to prove to his doubters that he is up to the office.»
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