Driffield News

Sir Greg still supports Prime Minister despite Partygate

Driffield MP Sir Greg Knight says he still supports the Prime Minister despite the damning report by Sue Gray, after 126 fines were issued to people who breached lockdown rules in Downing Street.

Sir Greg had previously said he wanted to read the findings of the report into the parties in the heart of government before he commented on Boris Johnson’s conduct.

That report said senior leadership must ‘bear responsibility’ for what went on in the last two years.

Sir Greg said he welcomed the recognition that behaviour was not always of the required standard, but he also said he wants to wait for a further inquiry which will look at whether the Prime Minister misled Parliament.

Speaking before the vote of confidence in the Prime Minister was announced, the East Yorkshire MP told the Wolds Weekly: “I said at the outset of this matter that I was not prepared to make a final judgement before all the investigations and enquiries are completed.

“The full report by senior civil servant Sue Gray has now been published and the police enquiry has concluded with no new allegations being made and no further fines being imposed on any ministers.

“However, some questions remain to be answered and I take the view that Prime Ministers should not be exempt from scrutiny. That is why on 21st April 2022, I supported, and the House of Commons passed, a motion calling for the Prime Minister to be investigated for having potentially misled Parliament.

“This is a new and separate inquiry to those conducted by the Metropolitan Police, and the investigation by Sue Gray, and it has yet to be concluded.

“So, the Prime Minister is now being investigated for having potentially deliberately misled Parliament in statements that he made in the House about breaches of lockdown rules in Downing Street – something that could constitute a contempt of Parliament by him.

“The investigation will be conducted by the Commons Privileges Committee, which is a cross-party committee.

“Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has said that lessons will be learned, and changes have been made to how Downing Street and the Cabinet Office are run. In particular, a new ‘Office of the Prime Minister’ has been created with a Permanent Secretary to lead operations at Number 10.

“I welcome his recognition that behaviour within government premises was not always up to standard and that changes have been made to create greater accountability.

“I intend to await the results of the Parliamentary Committee’s deliberations before reaching a final conclusion.

“In the interim, the Prime Minister continues to have my support.”

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