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Cambridge MP calls on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘resign without delay’

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Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “resign without delay” after the PM admitted attending a Downing Street gathering during the first lockdown.

South Cambridgeshire MP Anthony Browne and Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner (54237740)
South Cambridgeshire MP Anthony Browne and Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner (54237740)

Meanwhile, South Cambridgeshire Conservative MP Anthony Browne has said the public “must await the outcome” of the investigation into a number of events at Number 10.

Mr Johnson told MPs that he believed it had been a “work event”.

In the Commons, the PM said that he attended the May 20, 2020, gathering for around 25 minutes to “thank groups of staff” but “with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside”.

He acknowledged public anger, saying: “I know the rage they feel with me and with the Government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.”

He said an inquiry was examining the situation but accepted “there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility”.

Mr Zeichner told the Cambridge Independent: “The truth is out. The Prime Minister attended Downing Street parties in clear breach of the public health regulations in force at the time, and knowingly misled Parliament in clear breach of the ministerial code. The obfuscations and evasions are no longer tenable. It is time for the Prime Minister to do the honourable thing by the British public and resign without delay.”

Mr Browne said he understood and shared the significant public concern at these events.

He said: “I’m glad to see the Prime Minister explain and apologise for events within Number 10, and to take personal responsibility for them. It goes without saying that those who make rules need to abide by them.

“While the Prime Minister’s repeated apologies go some way towards easing my exasperation at these events, which I know is shared by many constituents, we are also in the middle of a formal investigation into a number of events at Number 10. It is frustrating, but we must await the outcome of that process. I expect the Prime Minister to show leadership in this matter and to continue to cooperate with all inquiries.”

Pippa Heyling visiting her mum (54237744)
Pippa Heyling visiting her mum (54237744)

Last night, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South Cambridgeshire Pippa Heylings said she had received “a flurry of messages from local people who are rightly distraught and furious about this” , adding, ahead of Mr Browne’s statement, that the “silence” from him was “deafening”.

Speaking of her personal experience, she added: “Like many elderly people in hospital and care homes, my mum suffered terribly from social isolation, prevented from seeing her loved ones because of lockdown rules.

“Anthony Browne, the local Conservative MP, must denounce the actions of Boris Johnson and illegal Downing Street parties which took place in the middle of a national lockdown.

“It is a kick in the teeth for everyone in South Cambridgeshire who has sacrificed so much during the pandemic, from those who weren’t able to visit loved ones in hospital to nurses left wearing bin bags as PPE.

“South Cambridgeshire will be a close two horse race between a hard working local Liberal Democrat team and a Conservative party that acts as if there is one rule for us and one for them. So many people are bitterly disappointed with the constant sleaze and scandal coming out of Downing Street. Our residents deserve better.”

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