Partygate: Why didn't the PM ask more questions over his son's broken swing?

26 May 2022, 08:25

By Asher McShane

The No10 chief of staff this morning said Boris Johnson "wasn't even there" when asked why the PM didn't query how his child's swing came to be broken in a raucous garden gathering.

More details of parties held at No10 emerged yesterday in Sue Gray’s report.

One alcohol-fuelled event, with around 45 attendees, left the PM's baby Wilf's swing damaged, the report said.

Nick Ferrari asked Steve Barclay at Breakfast this morning: “If my son’s swing set was broken, I’d like to find out why and how. And when I was told it was work colleagues having a late-night jolly, I’d take action. Why didn’t he?”

Mr Barclay said: “It’s a very fair question. A number of these incidents took place when the prime minister wasn’t even there, when he was at Chequers for example.

Read more: Sunak set to U-turn on windfall tax and give Brits £400 for gas and electricity bills

“There is a difference as far as the Prime minster was concerned between going to something for a few minutes in the course of what a PM does, meeting after meeting throughout the day.

“That is obviously very different than long after he had gone or when he wasn’t even in Downing Street, staff drinking late into the night.

“It is a big place, some of these incidents applied when he wasn’t even there”.

His comments come as some Tories renewed calls for Mr Johnson to quit.

Former minister Tobias Ellwood and backbencher Julian Sturdy described partygate as a “distraction” and said that the PM should resign.

Mr Sturdy said the full Sue Gray report showed the PM has “presided over a widespread disregard for the coronavirus regulations.”

In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday evening, the MP for York Outer said: “Questions are now being raised about whether the Prime Minister misled Parliament when asked about these events.

“Talking to constituents, it is clear discussions about parties in Downing Street remain a damaging distraction at a time when our country faces massive challenges with war returning to Europe, a global cost of living crisis, and our recovery from the pandemic being more important than ever.

“This is clearly a time when we cannot have any doubt about the honesty, integrity, and personal character of the Prime Minister”.

“While I thought it important to wait for the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police investigation and the publication of the Sue Gray report, I am now unable to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt and feel it is now in the public interest for him to resign.”

The Prime Minister said on Wednesday that he recognised people are “indignant” over the damning findings of Ms Gray’s report into law-breaking at the heart of Government.

He said he takes “full responsibility” for the scandal but sought to play down his personal involvement in the gatherings detailed in the report.

“ I have got to keep moving forward and the Government has got to keep moving. And we are.”

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Exclusive
Boris Johnson said if people visit Rwanda they would see it is "going places"

'You'd change your mind about Rwanda if you visited': Boris defends controversial plan

The Prime Minister was grilled by Nick Ferrari on the last day of the Nato summit

Watch in Full: Nick Ferrari grills Boris Johnson

Exclusive
The PM defended sending billions in support to Ukraine during the cost-of-living crisis

PM defends Ukraine aid in cost of living crisis as he's grilled over '£150k treehouse'

'I won't be shopping in Sainsbury's again but I went back for my apology'

Mum slams supermarket after being told off by worker for breastfeeding in car park

'It's not govt policy to arm Taiwan': Foreign Affairs Committee Chair on Liz Truss' gaffe

'It's not govt policy to arm Taiwan': Foreign Affairs Committee Chair on Liz Truss' gaffe

Ben Wallace said Putin was a 'lunatic'

Putin a 'lunatic with small man syndrome' says minister as PM blasts 'toxic masculinity'

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

Nick Ferrari grilled Priti Patel on her Rwanda migrant plan.

Rwanda migrant plan is not 'appalling' but 'should be a deterrent', Priti Patel tells LBC

Exclusive
Lord Bilimoria, outgoing president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) speaks to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

'Reduce taxes now': Outgoing CBI chief calls on Rishi to slash 'highest taxes in 70 years'

Grant Shapps has criticised the RMT leader Mick Lynch.

Rail strike called under 'false pretences' by RMT's '1970s union baron' boss, says Shapps

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Exclusive
The chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy has told LBC the industry can be run more effectively with fewer staff.

'Steam age' railway can be run more effectively with fewer staff, rail boss says

Rail strikes will cause "misery for millions"

'Driving unrest and stoking unrealistic expectations': Minister slams RMT ahead of strikes

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

The minister was speaking to LBC 's Nick Ferrari

Minister calls on Mayor of London to drop congestion charge on rail strike days