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UK News

‘Just answer the question’: Scottish Tory leader demands PM reveals ‘right now’ whether he attended No 10 lockdown drinks

today11/01/2022

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Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has demanded Boris Johnson “just answer the question” about whether he attended a “bring your own booze” event in Downing Street during the first COVID lockdown.

Speaking to Sky News, a “furious” Mr Ross called on the prime minister to “settle this right now” as to whether he was present at a gathering on 20 May 2020.

“If there’s nothing to hide here, if there’s no issue, then just answer the question,” Mr Ross said.

Boris Johnson returns from his morning run in central London. Pic: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP
Image: Boris Johnson pictured returning from his morning run earlier on Tuesday. Pic: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP

The Tory MP, who also sits in the Scottish Parliament, dismissed Number 10’s stance that it won’t comment on the row while a Whitehall investigation into allegations of coronavirus rule-breaking in Downing Street continues.

Mr Ross demanded Mr Johnson let the public know whether or not he attended the 20 May event immediately, rather than wait to face questions during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

He also rubbished claims that the prime minister could risk “prejudging” the results of the inquiry being conducted by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

“The prime minister can settle this right now, he can tell people if he was at the party or not,” he added.

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“We don’t need to wait for Sue Gray’s investigation, we don’t need to wait for Prime Minister’s Questions.

“We just need the prime minister to answer that very simple question.”

Sky News understands both the prime minister and his wife Carrie were among around 40 people to attend a drinks event in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020.

It has been revealed that one of Mr Johnson’s key aides emailed Number 10 staff that day to invite them to “make the most of the lovely weather” with “some socially distanced drinks”.

At the time, Britons had only recently been allowed to meet with one person from another household outside as long as they remained two metres apart.

Mixing with multiple households was still banned.

Mr Ross said he understood the “fury, the anger and the rage” of members of the public following the revelation of the 20 May event.

“People are furious, I’m furious, people across Scotland and across the UK are furious,” he added.

“This email went out to over 100 people inviting them to a party when no one else was allowed to do that.”

Asked if he retained confidence in the prime minister, Mr Ross said: “If he’s followed the guidance that his government themselves set for everyone else, then yes.

“But if he’s not, if he has breached his own guidance, if he has not been truthful then that is an extremely important issue.

“And I’ve said previously, if the prime minister has misled parliament, then he must resign.”

The Scottish Tory leader added that Mr Johnson would have to quit as prime minister if he was found to have broken the law and should be “punished”.

He said it would be “utterly despicable” if Mr Johnson and others within Number 10 had breached COVID rules that were being followed by the public.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today11/01/2022