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by Joseph Anderson
27 May 2022
Partygate: Davidson accuses Tory colleagues of 'sitting on their hands'

Partygate: Davidson accuses Tory colleagues of 'sitting on their hands'

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has accused her Conservative colleagues of “sitting on their hands” and allowing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to remain in post.

In a column for the Evening Standard, the former Scottish Tory leader said she has “made no secret of the fact I’ve been pretty appalled” by the Downing Street parties scandal, and added she finds it “incomprehensible that a prime minister asking for so much sacrifice from so many, would not just preside over, but participate in, such flagrant and widespread rule breaking”.

Davidson concludes her column with a plea to her colleagues in the House of Commons: “The reason I have been so resolute and outspoken on this whole affair for months is because I believe in the institutions of our country.

“That old-fashioned concepts like honesty, decency and transparency matter. That we should hold those granted huge powers over us to a higher standard, not a lower one. And that the great offices of state – like the office of prime minister – are more important than the individual holder of those offices at any given time. Especially if that person brings the office into disrepute.

“The goings on in Downing street at a time of national crisis were unforgiveable. And I do not doubt that those who lost so many and sacrificed so much will not forgive. Why Conservative MPs are sitting on their hands, I do not know.”

The long-awaited Sue Gray report, published earlier this week, said it was clear from the police investigation that 83 individuals who attended these events breached Covid regulations and guidance.

Fines handed out by the Metropolitan Police related to 12 events between May 2020 and April 2021.

Last month both Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were handed fixed penalty notices for breaking lockdown rules.

Gray’s investigation covered a further four events, though she added that “it is possible that events took place which were not the subject of the investigation”.

Her report includes a breakdown of the 16 events and photographs of Johnson at the one in June 2020 for his birthday, for which he received a fine, and another in November 2020.

She said the findings “illustrate some attitudes and behaviours inconsistent with” Covid guidance.

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