Sue Gray findings: Silence from Derbyshire Tory MPs after report identifies ‘failures of leadership’

Derbyshire Tory MPs are keeping tight-lipped after findings into Number 10 lockdown parties were published.

Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 11:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 11:55 am

Senior civil servant Sue Gray blamed ‘failures of leadership and judgement’ for rule breaking in Downing Street.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised after Ms Gray’s partial report was published on Monday, telling the House of Commons he would make changes to the way Number 10 and the Cabinet Office are run – but he continues to face calls to resign over the issue amid widespread public anger.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Derbyshire Times contacted all Conservative MPs in our patch – North East Derbyshire’s Lee Rowley, Bolsover’s Mark Fletcher, Derbyshire Dales’ Sarah Dines, Amber Valley’s Nigel Mills, Mid-Derbyshire’s Pauline Latham and Erewash’s Maggie Throup – asking for their thoughts on the report and if Mr Johnson had their full support.

None had responded by the given deadline.

According to the BBC, a number of MPs have said they are waiting for Ms Gray's full report to decide on the Prime Minister’s leadership.

Metropolitan Police officers, meanwhile, are looking into 12 events for alleged breaches of lockdown rules, including three Mr Johnson reportedly attended and one in his flat.

Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, said the Prime Minister was ‘unfit for office’.

“Tory MPs are totally missing the public mood here,” he added.

“Just imagine listening to all the revelations of the unfitness for office of Johnson over the last few weeks and thinking ‘I still need to find out one more damaging revelation before I’m convinced’.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC: “So many people are worried about issues such as their energy bills, which are going through the roof, and the Prime Minister is spending all of his time saving his own skin.”

Mr Johnson told the Commons: “We are making changes now to the way Downing Street and the Cabinet Office are run so that we can get on with the job that I was elected to do and the job that this Government was elected to do.

“First it is time to sort out what Sue Gray rightly calls the fragmented and complicated leadership structures of Downing Street which she says have not evolved sufficiently to meet the demands of the expansion of Number 10 and we will do that, including by creating an Office of the Prime Minister with a permanent secretary to lead Number 10.

“Second it is clear from Sue Gray’s report that it is time not just to review the civil service and special adviser codes of conduct wherever necessary, to ensure that they take account of Sue Gray’s recommendations, but also to make sure that those codes are properly enforced.

“And third I will be saying more in the coming days about the steps we will take to improve the Number 10 operation and the work of the Cabinet Office, to strengthen cabinet Government and to improve the vital connection between Number 10 and Parliament.”

Concluding his statement, the Prime Minister said: “I get it – and I will fix it.

“I want to say to the people of this country that I know what the issue is.”

Labour MPs shouted back: “You.”

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