As public outrage swept across the country this week after report after report of several parties and gatherings inside Downing Street during the lockdown, there were calls from across the political spectrum for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign.
Last week, it was revealed in an email received by ITV News, sent by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Primary Private Secretary Martin Reynolds, that more than 100 people working in Downing Street should bring their own booze to a socially distant event.
Since then, there have been even more accusations, which led to Mr Johnson apologizing for the Prime Minister’s question in the House of Commons on Wednesday. But it has not done much to quell the outrage from members of the public.
It turned out that two parties were held on the eve of Prince Philips’ funeral.
Politicians in northern Northamptonshire have given their own views on what they believe should happen.
Corby’s Conservative councilor David Sims told his newspaper that he had been his mother, died in February 2020 just three months after he lost his father – former Corby Labor councilor Joe Sims.
Cllr Sims added: “Due to initial lockdown restrictions, only six people attended the funeral. I was disgusted to hear about another party in a recent leaked email revealing that Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie attended a drinks event in Downing Street Garden during this first Covid lockdown, it makes me extremely emotional and angry.
“He has just announced the restrictions we all have to comply with, but a few minutes later he was at a party in the garden where his senior assistant Martin Reynolds had sent out 100 invitations to staff at number 10.
“I never thought I would feel this or say this about a conservative prime minister, but for me it is not about party politics. In my opinion, his position is indefensible. In the interest of the nation, he should resign immediately.”
After our journalists posted Cllr Sims’ comments on social media, he was greeted with a wave of support from locals across all political parties.
Left-wing tweeter and steelworker Pete Iwanoff said, “David is my cousin. I could not attend my aunt’s funeral. My mother’s last remaining siblings. These Downing St parties kicked us all out.”
And Labor City Councilman Martyn Reuby said: “Well done, and I welcome your statement. As you have put it here. It’s not always about scoring across parties.”
Cllr Sims spoke again today (Sunday, January 16) and said: “Boris is a full responsibility. He has lost the moral right to lead this country. Even if he succeeds in leaving the partygate on a technical ground, it is a fact that he should have been an example and actually led by example.
“The image of the queen sitting to herself on the eve of Prince Philips’ funeral says it all. Boris should go now regardless of Sue Gray’s request. If he does not know what’s going on at number 10, how can he rule the country? trust and breach of the rule of law means that his position is untenable. “
Speaking to the Northamptonshire Telegraph earlier this week, Kettering MP Philip Hollobone called the reports ‘very disturbing’, saying there could not be one rule for the government and a separate rule for everyone else.
Over the weekend, Corby and Wellingborough MPs Tom Pursglove and Peter Bone held the line of government and went on the campaign track ahead of the February by-elections in Oundle, which were printed after Tory councilor Annabel de Cappell Brook finally resigned weeks after she moved to Norfolk.
After a period of silence on Twitter since the news was announced, Minister Pursglove posted a picture of the outing on social media, tweeting his support for his boss. He said: “So many interesting and useful conversations on the doorstep today under two long doorsteps – lots of support for @BorisJohnson to keep delivering on the priorities of the locals here in #CorbyEN. And that’s exactly what we want to do! “
Earlier today, Mr Pursglove told the BBC he did not believe Boris Johnson should resign.
His tweet was met with a rush of wildly diverse reactions. It received more than 500 ‘likes’ with some people calling for it to be ‘spread far and wide’, while a retweeter called for it to be a candidate for the popular ‘Did Not Happen’ award.
A supporter called Stephen Kiss said: “Just shows that the British public does not believe all the propaganda the press is pushing down our throats that (sic) still supports Boris”
Former Wellingborough Conservative Jack Summers, now Wellingborough Labor Youth Officer after leaving the Tory Party amid bullying, said: “This is nonsense @VotePursglove
“We both know that Corby & Wellingborough’s conservative strategy is to immediately locate the vote intention and leave. You do not ask questions other than whether we can get the vote. There are very few houses that will give you long answers. To argue for your results mean that there is support for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is fake. It’s just part of the script. “
Wellingborough MP Peter Bone has been circulating the media over the past few days to express his unwavering support for Boris Johnson’s position. He told Channel 4 News last night (Saturday) that he had been out in the constituency with 42 activists for two, two-hour stays yesterday, and that ‘the majority of the activists supported the prime minister and the government’.
He said they were tapping into a ‘conservative area’ – believed to be in the Oundle department – adding: “There was huge support for the Conservatives and for the Prime Minister and I did not have a single person say that they did not, like the Prime Minister, and they would not vote conservatively among those who have previously voted conservatively.
“There were people who did not like the prime minister, but they were people who always had disliked him and had never voted conservative.”
Mr. Bone said people also agreed with a new Downing Street story that the officials working there are too inexperienced.
He said: “Boris needs to have people in Downing Street who are older. Get rid of the 25-year-olds who appear to be out of control.”
He also took a sneak peek at Mr Johnson’s former adviser Dominic Cummings – who in some circles is believed to be behind many of the media leaks – and said he had been ‘completely discredited’.
He said people right outside the door had wanted to talk to him about taxation rather than the ongoing crisis inside Downing Street.
Conservative North Northants Council leader Cllr Jason Smithers has so far been silent on the issue, but campaigned with MPs over the weekend. When a Corby mother was asked by a Corby mother on social media what he would do if it was discovered that NNC employees were holding parties in the council chamber in lockdown, he replied: “I would ask for a report on the incident and then make an informed decision about the next steps once I knew all the facts. Hope this helps! “
Earlier this week, veteran Labor Councilor John McGhee said: “The silence from our Corby MP Tom Pursglove about the disgraceful party at 10 Downing is deafening.
“When we obeyed the rules, Downing street 10 ignored them. WONDERFUL. Then come Mr. Pursglove, support your disappointed residents and ask for your resignation.”
And the outspoken Wellingborough Tory councilor Scott Brown said he remained loyal to Mr Johnson, tweeting last week: “Of course there are questions to be answered regarding alleged Downing Street parties in May ’20, but considering “that Boris was in the intensive care unit until mid-April. I can not believe he was there and partying with them. I await the results of the investigation before sentencing.”