Scottish Tory leader: Boris Johnson must resign if he broke Covid rules

11 January 2022, 18:13 | Updated: 16 January 2022, 09:00

Gina Davidson

By Gina Davidson

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has said Boris Johnson must resign if he’s found to have broken the law or misled Parliament over parties in the Downing Street garden while the UK was under strict lockdown restrictions.

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The MP for Moray, who is also a Highlands and Islands MSP in the Scottish Parliament, said people were “offended” and “furious” by the alleged actions of the Prime Minister, his staff, and senior civil servants.

He told LBC’s Eddie Mair there was “mounting evidence” that people in Downing Street  “weren't following the same rules and advice” as the rest of the country. He added: “Indeed, in this case it [looks like they] broke the law because this wasn't just asking people to do this, this was putting it in legislation, and people have been punished for breaking the rules and now it looks like people at the top of Number 10 broke them themselves.”

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Asked directly that if Boris Johnson attended the party then he broke the law and would have to resign, Mr Ross replied: “Yes.” He added: “I've said lying to Parliament, misleading Parliament is a resignation matter.

“Let's be clear. He's said in Parliament that he had no knowledge of any of these parties and no rules were broken. These were rules and indeed laws that his government put in place. And let's remember the same night that this party happened, a Cabinet minister at the same time was on TV in another part of Downing Street, telling people to follow the rule which at the time was don't meet with more than one person from another household outdoors. 

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“Yet more than 100 people were invited to come eat in the backyard at Number 10. It's simply indefensible.”

He added: “My constituents and constituents up and down the country followed the toughest and the tightest restrictions we've ever seen in the UK, and at the same time, they know from an email last night that over 100 people were invited to go and enjoy the good weather in the Downing Street garden and bring their own booze. 

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“I understand that rage and that anger and why people are furious.” He said the Prime Minister needed to answer the “simple question” of whether he was at the party in May 2020, and stressed it would not undermine the ongoing inquiry into other allegations of Downing Street parties.

“And let's be honest, he has to give an answer at some point, today or tomorrow at PMQs, this issue is not going away,” he said. “And that's why I'm saying he has to be upfront and honest and just tell the public was he there?

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