Derbyshire’s Tory MPs keeping tight-lipped amid calls for Boris Johnson to resign over No 10 lockdown party
The majority of Tory MPs in Derbyshire are keeping tight-lipped amid calls for Boris Johnson to resign after he admitted attending a Downing Street garden party in May last year.
Mr Johnson issued an apology at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday after revealing he went to a drinks event during the first lockdown in the garden of Downing Street.
The Prime Minister said he joined staff for 25 minutes and that he “believed implicitly that this was a work event” and returned to work in Number 10 afterwards, adding that he regretted not ordering staff to return indoors.
A handful of Tories have now joined called for Johnson to quit, including Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross and veteran MP Sir Roger Gale.
In the Derbyshire Times’ circulation area, Conservative MPs Mark Fletcher, who represents Bolsover; Lee Rowley, who represents North East Derbyshire; Sarah Dines, who represents the Derbyshire Dales; Pauline Latham, who represents Mid-Derbyshire; and Maggie Throup, who represents Erewash, are all yet to react to the news but have been approached for comment.
At present, it is believed that Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills is the only Tory in the area to publicly give his thoughts.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Mills warned that any senior figure who willingly attended the event could not have a position where they were responsible for setting Covid-19 policy.
“This is unacceptable isn’t it,” he told ITV News. “These were the strictest times of the lockdown, the cases were still very high, there were a large amount of deaths going on.
“The idea that anybody – supposedly the brightest and the best running the country – would have thought that having a party in that time was acceptable. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
“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 for the rest of the country is just not really possible.”
He added: "I just can’t get my head around what on earth they thought they were doing in that situation. They must have known that a planned invite event with alcohol and no work agenda couldn’t possibly be a work meeting.”