Mims Davies admits “real anger in local party” whilst side stepping responsibility

Mims Davies in her response to the Sue Gray Report seems to blame the situation of COVID rule breaking in 10 Downing Street on “appalling and inexcusable drunken behaviour by officials and advisors” seemingly sidestepping the responsibility by politicians and the Prime Minister, despite the report including nine photos of Boris Johnson breaking lockdown rules at No 10 Downing Street, and Sue Gray herself highlighting that “the senior leadership at the centre, both political and official must bear responsibility for this culture.” Davies however seems to be fundamentally backing Johnson regardless.

When questioned in Parliament on whether a party had taken place on one of the occasions where he was photographed, Johnson said, “No but I’m sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed, and the rules were followed at all times.”  This did not stop the police fining him for attending one of these events, and fining others for attending other events at which he was photographed, as well as allegations that he lied to parliament currently being investigated by the House of Commons Privileges Committee given guidance at the time had clearly not been followed.

Yet rather than tighten up the rules governing how ministers behave, Johnson has announced plans to overhaul the way the ministerial code is policed, which includes allowing ministers to escape resignation for “minor infractions” as well as preventing any power of the ethical watchdog, the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests to launch his own investigations without the prime minister’s permission.  All this smacks of a continued view from the Prime Minister and Conservative government ministers that normal rules don’t apply to them, or actively changing the rules to favour themselves, Mims Davies as a minister sitting alongside Boris Johnson does nothing to assuage this view.

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