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Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron has withdrawn his support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the wake of the Sue Gray report on parties held in Whitehall in breach of lockdown regulations.
Mr Baron said: “The Sue Gray report and the Metropolitan Police investigations paint a shameful pattern of misbehaviour during the pandemic as the rest of us kept to the COVID regulations. Those responsible for setting the rules have a special duty to adhere to them.”
“However, for me the most serious charge against the Prime Minister is that of knowingly misleading Parliament. Given the scale of rule-breaking in No 10, I can not accept that the Prime Minister was unaware. Therefore, his repeated assurances in Parliament that there was no rule-breaking is simply not credible.”
“For some, this may appear a trivial point given world events. Yet a bedrock principle of our constitution is that we can trust the responses we receive in Parliament to be truthful and accurate. Parliament is the beating heart of our nation. To knowingly mislead it can not be tolerated, no matter the issue. Whether or not the Prime Minister is an asset to the party or the country is of less importance.”
“Having always said I would consider all the available evidence before deciding, I’m afraid the Prime Minister no longer enjoys my support – I can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt.”