Theresa May asks if Boris Johnson failed to read or understand the rules, or just chose to ignore them

Theresa May asks if Boris Johnson failed to read or understand the rules, or just chose to ignore them

Which was it? The former Prime Minister asked the man who replaced her.
Theresa May

Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May has taken aim at Boris Johnson as he faces the release of a damning report into government parties that happened during COVID restrictions.

Speaking in the Commons, May asked Johnson whether he had read the COVID rules his own government had imposed on the UK public, or if he simply thought he was exempt from following them.

She also indicated that she believed the Prime Minister had a responsibility to set an example.

“The COVID regulations impose significant restrictions on freedoms of members of the public. They had a right to expect their prime minster to have read the rules, to understand the meaning of the rules, and indeed those around him to have done so too, and to set an example in following those rules,” she said.

“What the Gray report does show is that No. 10 Downing Street was not observing the regulations they had imposed on members of the public.

Then she added: “So either my right honourable friend had not read the rules, did not understand what they meant and nor did others around him, or they didn’t think the rules applied to No. 10.

“Which was it?”

Johnson, who is facing fierce criticism from the opposition and some of his own MPs, replied: “That is not what the Gray report says. I suggest she wait to see the conclusion of the inquiry.”

Findings of the report into the “Partygate” scandal plaguing Johnson’s government have now been released in part, outlining a “failure of leadership and judgment” in the government. The report, spearheaded by public servant Sue Gray, invested 16 alcohol-fueled social gatherings held in Downing Street while Covid restrictions were in place. It said some of the government’s behaviour was “difficult to justify”.

“At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time,” Gray wrote.

Sections of the Gray report have not yet been published, due to police investigations into 12 of the 16 gatherings and related evidence, including 300 photos taken by witnesses.

Amid the release of the report, Johnson said “I get it and I will fix it”, but also attempted to deflect from the crisis of leadership in the government.

Several conservative MPs have now indicated they are opposed to Johnson’s leadership going forward.

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