Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for Boris Johnson to resign after attending a party at Downing Street during the height of lockdown.
The prime minister admitted he ‘must take responsibility’ for the gatherings and parties which took place at Downing Street while the rest of the country was being told to stay at home, saying during Prime Minister’s Questions today, January 12, that there were ‘things we simply didn’t get right’.
Starmer echoed millions of people across the country as he called for Johnson to resign following the admission, saying, ‘the party’s over, Prime Minister’.
He continued: ‘Will the public kick him out, will his party kick him out or will he resign?’
Starmer drew upon previous denials made by Downing Street in relation to events, saying, ‘The Prime Minister pretended he had been assured there were no parties’, before stressing how he was forced to change his story after evidence emerged.
Starmer said: ‘Then the video landed… so he pretended he was sickened and furious about parties. Now it turns out he was at the parties all along. Can’t the Prime Minister see why the British public think he’s lying through his teeth?’
The Labour leader went on to point out that Johnson previously agreed with the resignations of former staff members who were found to have broken coronavirus rules, including Matt Hancock and Allegra Stratton, before asking: ‘Why does the Prime Minister still think that the rules don’t apply to him?’
He also questioned whether the PM was ‘so contemptuous of the British public he thinks he can ride this out?’
In response to the calls for resignation, Johnson argued that Starmer is ‘paid to try and remove [him] from office’ and insisted it would be ‘better until the full conclusion of the inquiry’ is reached before decisions are made.
I accept we should have done things differently. But he should wait, before he jumps to conclusions… A lawyer should respect the inquiry. I hope that he will wait until the facts are established and brought to this House.
Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, supported Karmer’s views as he stressed that Johnson ‘can’t get away with it again’.
He accused the PM of having ‘never followed any rules’, and asked whether he would ‘finally do the decent thing and resign’ as ‘the public will not forgive or forget’.
The backlash against Johnson came after an email leaked this week saw Downing Street employees being encouraged to join a gathering in the garden on May 20, 2020.
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