The prime minister’s excuse about the May 2020 party is utterly pathetic (Boris Johnson’s future on a knife edge after No 10 party apology, 12 January). The rules in May 2020 were clear regarding the meeting of people outside your household. The specific rules relating to work were also clear – if people couldn’t work from home, “workers should try to minimise all meetings and other gatherings” and “only absolutely necessary participants should attend meetings and should maintain 2m separation throughout”.
In addition, we were told to “reduce the number of people you spend time with in a work setting”. Clearly Boris Johnson and all those who took part in No 10 gatherings think rules are for bending. Now it appears that the PM is waiting for the investigation to finish to see if his skin can be saved. It should not be left to a civil servant to determine his future – the 1922 Committee must get a grip and get rid of the man now if they want to have any chance of a future with their electorate.
I am heartbroken, remembering 16 June 2020 when my beloved younger sister died suddenly (not Covid-related). Only two people were allowed to be with her at the end of her life until doctors pronounced her dead – her husband and elder daughter were those two. I had to sit in the hospital car park for hours, not able to be with my only sister while she was dying. This was not the only agony. The agony of deciding a short guest list for the funeral; the agony of those who wanted to come but didn’t, as they were vulnerable or shielding others who were vulnerable. The social distancing rules that prevented us hugging and crying together at funerals. It was all horrendous.
These were the rules to safeguard us all in the first months of lockdown and now we are learning of yet more contemptuous rule-breaking by those who made them. I am full of contempt for the prime minister who lies brazenly, and he and his ilk who hold us all in such contempt. They are despicable. Our country deserves, and needs, better than them.
As someone who has voted Conservative in every election since 1970, I am finally forced to say: “Enough is enough.” Heath, Thatcher, Hague, Duncan Smith, Howard, Cameron, May – each had strengths and weaknesses, but each was a politician I could regard as honest and honourable. Boris Johnson is neither. I supported him in the leadership election because I wanted to “get Brexit done”.
Even when he achieved that by shamelessly betraying the Ulster Unionists and the British fishermen, I went along with the “ah well, compromises are inevitable” excuses. But now, knowing what he and his inner circle were up to, as they told the rest of us we were not allowed to comfort our sick and dying for fear of spreading the virus, makes my stomach turn. One day I will probably return to the Conservative fold, but only when the party has a leader I can respect.
No one seems to have asked the question that I want to know the answer to: if these were work meetings at 10 Downing Street, why was Carrie Johnson there? Imagine the Tory and rightwing media furore if Cherie Blair had been pictured at any such government meeting.