Edwina Currie claims 'an awful lot' of Partygate row is 'still about Brexit'

Ms Currie defended Boris Johnson after calls to resign for breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules

Published

Former Tory minister Edwina Currie has claimed “an awful lot” of the Partygate row, which has led to calls for Boris Johnson to resign, is about Brexit.

The Prime Minister was fined last week, as part of the Metropolitan Police probe into Covid-19 breaches in Government, for attending his birthday party in the Cabinet Room in June 2020.

Shouts of “resign” could be heard across the Commons yesterday afternoon as Mr Johnson apologised for his involvement in the Downing Street parties.

Speaking on GB News Ms Currie said: “An awful lot of this is still about Brexit.

"It is also about people trying to get rid of the Prime Minister who have never forgiven him for Brexit and who are determined to replace him with somebody who will be much weaker on Brexit .

Edwina Currie speaking on GB News
Edwina Currie speaking on GB News

"They have forgotten that he won a general election with that as the main issue only two years ago."

She continued: “Of course, it will be wonderful if we had a saint with a halo and wings sprouting out of his back, who never puts a foot wrong, but what we’ve got with Boris is a real life human being."

Ms Currie went on to praise the Prime Minister’s response to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Boris Johnson apologising to MPs for Partygate in the House of Commons yesterday
Boris Johnson apologising to MPs for Partygate in the House of Commons yesterday

The former MP for South Derbyshire said: “Yes, he makes mistakes, but on the big issues…our British Prime Minister is leading the vanguard and getting arms and heavy weapons to Ukraine to make sure they can fight off the Russians and do it on our behalf for freedom and democracy right through Europe.”

In his apology, Mr Johnson said that it did not occur to him that his birthday gathering in the Cabinet Room before a meeting on Covid-19 strategy could "amount to a breach of the rules."

He said he has taken “significant steps” to change the way things work in No 10.

The Prime Minister continued: “It is precisely because I know that so many people are angry and disappointed that I feel an even greater sense of obligation to deliver on the priorities of the British people."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer slammed the apology as a "joke".

He said: “As the mealy-mouthed apology stumbles from one side of his mouth, more deflections and distortions come from the other.”

The Commons will decide on Thursday whether to ask the Privileges Committee to consider whether the Prime Minister’s conduct amounts to contempt of Parliament.

The motion, tabled by leading figures from seven opposition parties, says that the committee’s inquiry should not begin in earnest until the Metropolitan Police have concluded their own investigation into lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.