Derbyshire Tory MP issues statement about Boris Johnson – but others stay silent

Bolsover’s Conservative MP says Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘knows personally how awful this virus has been for so many people’ – as he nearly died from Covid himself.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 2:29 pm

Mark Fletcher commented as senior civil servant Sue Gray continues her investigation into a list of reported parties in Government buildings.

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Johnson admitted he attended a gathering in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown in May 2020 – and apologised to the nation while arguing it was a ‘work event’. In the invitation, people were invited to ‘bring your own booze’.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Kirsty O'Connor/Pool/AFP via Getty Images.

Mr Fletcher, who won the Bolsover seat from Labour veteran Dennis Skinner in 2019, told the Derbyshire Times: “The Prime Minister has apologised and taken full responsibility for what has happened, and an investigation into these events is due to conclude shortly.

“We should wait to see what conclusions that investigation produces.

“Many people made huge sacrifices over the past couple of years, and it is worth remembering that the Prime Minister himself very nearly died from Covid, so he knows personally how awful this virus has been for so many people.”

The Derbyshire Times also contacted the other Conservative MPs in our patch – North East Derbyshire’s Lee Rowley, Derbyshire Dales’ Sarah Dines, Amber Valley’s Nigel Mills, Mid-Derbyshire’s Pauline Latham and Erewash’s Maggie Throup – asking for their thoughts on recent events and if they believed Mr Johnson should resign.

We only received a statement from Mr Fletcher by the given deadline.

However, before Mr Johnson’s comments in the House of Commons, Mr Mills told national media: “I can’t see how anybody who organised a party or willingly chose to attend one can stay in any position where they’re setting Covid policy.”

Cabinet ministers have spoken out in support of Mr Johnson – but he is also facing calls to resign, including from Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross.

On Friday, Downing Street apologised to Buckingham Palace for two staff parties in Number 10 the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.

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