Mathew Hulbert | Columnist | 31 January 2022
FOR THE last almost two years my elderly mother, who lives in Barwell, has followed the lockdown rules to the letter; even when seriously ill in the middle of last year, when I wasn’t able to initially visit her when she was recuperating in a care home regaining her strength before being allowed home.
That was heartbreaking, but it was what the rules said so we followed them.
Other families, of course, sadly had it far, far worse.
Not able to hold the hand of a loved one as they breathed their final breaths, not able to attend funerals, not able to be at some of the most moving and precious moments of loved ones and friends lives.
Families up and down the land followed the rules as laid down by the government.
The same government we now know for sure, following the albeit only partial publication of Sue Gray’s report today, were having parties at the very heart of the UK Government-10 Downing Street-which broke the rules they themselves had set.
As the Gray report makes clear, there was:
• Behaviour which is ‘difficult to justify’
• A ‘failure of leadership’
• Also that ‘some of the events should not have been allowed’
• And that ‘the excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate’
Just re-read those findings and remember that this wasn’t in a university students union, rather it was at the very heart of Government.
And today, instead of coming to the House of Commons and offering a full and complete apology and then resigning, we had the usual bluff and bluster; in one of the most disgraceful parliamentary performances I can ever remember watching, in almost thirty years of watching proceedings in Parliament.
I pay tribute to those Conservative MPs, including former Prime Minister Theresa May and former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, who stood up and-to his face-condemned the Prime Minister and others in 10 Downing Street for their behaviour.
Calling out your own side is never easy; I know that from when, in very different circumstances, I publicly bemoaned some of what my own party-the Liberal Democrats-agreed to as part of the 2010-15 Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition Government.
Politics is a team game and the sense of loyalty is, of course, very strong.
But those Tory MPs who are still defending this Prime Minister need to remember that they have a much more important loyalty to consider…that towards their constituents and our country as a whole.
This Prime Minister is unfit for high office. He should go. Now.
If today is anything to go by, he still believes he can bluster his way through and remain in the post.
The time has now come for Bosworth’s Tory MP and many more of his colleagues to put country before party, call on Boris Johnson to go, and-if he won’t-to force him out.
If they don’t, I suggest, they may never be forgiven.