'He's making fools of every single Tory who comes on to defend him': MPs clash over PM

16 January 2022, 11:12 | Updated: 16 January 2022, 11:17

By Elizabeth Haigh

Chris Bryant has mocked Boris Johnson, telling him he "doesn't deserve to be Prime Minister" and is "making fools" of Conservative MPs.

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Mr Bryant told LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday: "He’s making fools of every single Tory MP who comes on to defend him."

He referred to a series of "partygate" claims, where Government staff are alleged to have held boozy events during Covid restrictions.

One report said an event ended with a person breaking a swing in the No10 garden that belonged to Wilf, Mr Johnson's son.

Speaking on Swarbrick on Sunday this morning, Mr Bryant said: "Boris Johnson will have to go."

He said: "If he couldn’t spot that his own son’s swing had been broken and there were suitcases of wine being brought in to the building where he lives, then I’m sorry but he doesn’t deserve to be PM."

The gathering took place the evening before Prince Philip's funeral, in which one member of staff is said to have filled a suitcase with booze and staff partied until the early hours, resulting in the swing being broken.

Mr Bryant said: "The people who write the rules have to be the people who follow the rules."

He described a "perversion of British politics" following the partygate scandal.

Mr Bryant said the Prime Minister "runs a really really chaotic operation," and the government's problems began with the Owen Paterson scandal.

The MP cited a former cabinet member who told him: "In every single conversation you have with Boris he lies to you."

Mr Bryant added: "He has no moral compass, we all know this."

Read more: 'Save Big Dog': Boris 'to launch blitz of sackings and populist policies' to keep job

Read more: PM's wife regrets 'lapse of judgement' after partying with pals during lockdown

Following Mr Bryant, MP Peter Bone told Swarbrick on Sunday "the vast, vast majority" of his constituents support the Prime Minister.

Mr Bone described speaking with one constituent who told him the criticism of Boris Johnson was a "witch-hunt".

Responding to claims the government is attempting to distract from the partygate scandal by introducing new policies such as a BBC licence fee freeze, Mr Bone said he has had "the most correspondence and tens of thousands of Twitter likes" about the fee, not alleged rule breaking in Downing Street.

Mr Bone's post about the licence fee has around 8,800 likes.

"Colleagues who are criticising the Prime Minister ought to go and knock on a few doors," said Mr Bone.

He added that people who claim to always vote Conservative but tell him they cannot vote for the current leader are "lying".

"On the door step some people lie to us on these things," he said, claiming such voters have always voted Labour.

The MPs talked to Tom following the [artygate scandal, which has rocked Westminster in recent weeks.

Read more: Labour call for probe into No 10 party 'cover up' allegations

Up to 17 gatherings have been reported since before Christmas, involving events at Downing Street, Conservative HQ, Whitehall and the Department of Education.

Boris Johnson has admitted to attending at least one event on 20 May 2020, but said he believed it was a "work event".

It is reported tables were set up for drinks and snacks at this event, and about 100 members of staff were invited to attend and "bring your own booze."

Around 40 people are believed to have attended, at a time when people in the UK were banned from meeting more than one person who they didn't live with, and could only meet them outside.

Downing Street has apologised to the Queen for holding two separate parties in April 2021, the night before the Queen attended her late husband's funeral.

Read more: 'This is a work event': Boris Johnson lookalikes hold 'party' outside Downing Street

Civil servant Sue Gray is due to reveal the results of her investigation into the deluge of party allegations as early as the end of next week.

The PM's wife, Carrie Johnson, has also said she regrets a "lapse" in her judgement after being pictured hugging friends at a club in September 2020.

Six Conservative MPs have now called on Mr Johnson to resign.

It is rumoured the PM has launched a plan which he himself named "Save Big Dog", involving firing members of staff in order to save his own job.

There is a separate plan, called "Operation Red Meat", which will involve a blitz of policy announcements in order to try and shift attention from partygate.

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