Harborough MP admits he has 'great concern' over ‘Partygate’ scandal enveloping Prime Minister Boris Johnson

He said that it was right that the country’s under-fire Premier apologised this week

By Red Williams
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 11:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 11:09 am
Harborough MP Neil O’Brien today admitted that he has been following the deepening ‘Partygate’ scandal enveloping Prime Minister Boris Johnson with “great concern”.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien today admitted that he has been following the deepening ‘Partygate’ scandal enveloping Prime Minister Boris Johnson with “great concern”.

The local Conservative MP said that it was right that the country’s under-fire Premier apologised this week over highly-controversial parties breaking lockdown rules in Downing Street.

But Neil, who has represented Harborough since 2017, said MPs and the public should wait for Sue Gray’s report into the 'partygate' affair to be published in the next few days before taking any further action.

He spoke out to the Harborough Mail amid new reports emerging this morning that at least 20 red wall Tory MPs are poised to put in letters of confidence in Mr Johnson today.

The political “coup” is being branded the Pork Pie Plot by the national media because Melton Mowbray MP Alicia Kearns is said to be one of the ringleaders.

Talking to the Mail as he travelled on the train to attend what was set to be an explosive Prime Minister’s Questions at the Commons today, Neil said: "Like many constituents, I have read the reports and stories with great concern and think that it was right for the Prime Minister to apologise on TV this week.

“I think most MPs are looking to the independent report being produced by Sue Gray.

“We will want to know from the report whether there is anything more to say about this, or whether it finally draws a line under the matter.

“People emailing me often acknowledge that there are positive things going on in the country - that we are coming through the Omicron wave successfully with the least restrictions in Europe and we have the fastest economic recovery of any major country,” said Neil.

The MP went on to admit, however: “But still people are understandably very angry about it and everyone will think of the examples of sacrifices made at that time.

“Lots of friends and neighbours in the constituency made big sacrifices and lost loved ones.

“I'm still astonished that officials didn't think before organising these things too,” insisted Neil.

“Once we have the full details in Sue Gray's report it may be that some of them will need to go.

“I will be paying close attention to the report and to the response of the Prime Minister.”

Melton Mowbray MP Alicia Kearns wasn’t commenting on the fast-growing political firestorm today to our sister paper the Melton Times as events in London moved on rapidly.

But the town’s “angry” Conservative MP declared on her Facebook page last week: “I know that residents feel let down, and angry at these latest allegations.

“I feel the same,” confessed Mrs Kearns.

“Residents will be unsurprised by my position that lawmakers should not be lawbreakers, and the Party is well aware of my views on the totally unacceptable allegations, particularly from a time when I know how very difficult the restrictions on our lives were for all of us.”