Boris Johnson PMQs: 'PM should resign' says Sheffield MP after Downing Street garden party admission

A Sheffield MP has added her voice to calls that Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign after he confirmed today that he had attended a large gathering at Downing Street during lockdown in 2020.

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 3:07 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was grilled by MPs in the House of Commons on January 12, as he apologised for attending a gathering, which he believed was a work event, on May 20, 2020.

Sheffield Hallam MP, Olivia Blake, said she heard from constituents who had lost loved ones and could not attend funerals in the same month as the Downing Street event.

Blake said: “Resigning is the only useful thing he can do. His position has become completely untenable. He has acted in a way that has not only degraded the position of Prime Minister but has degraded all of our politics.

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Olivia Blake said that Boris Johnson degraded the office of Prime Minister. Picture Scott Merrylees

"The strength of feeling from my constituents on this issue has been huge. It is so personal and heartbreaking for so many individuals. Many people have not known the words to describe how they are feeling.

"I have heard from constituents who lost family members and could not be with them at the same time as that party was taking place.

"He needs to look at the sacrifices that many of our constituents have made over the last two years. Everyone has been through such hardship, they have not been able to attend funerals and other important life events.”

Blake attended Prime Ministers Questions and said that while she didn’t have the opportunity to ask Johnson her question, several other MPs asked what she had hoped to: “Would the Prime Minister be considering his position?”

She added: “Unfortunately he completely dodged the question when others asked it. This crisis of confidence is going to last a lot longer. We need people in the position of Prime Minister that people can trust. It is so important that we hold our leaders to the highest standard.”

Boris Johnson admitted that he attended an event in the Downing Street garden for 25 minutes, and said he did not realise it was a party, and offered “heartfelt apologies”.

An inquiry into social gatherings at 10 Downing Street is being led by senior civil servant Sue Gray after Cabinet Secretary Simon Case recused himself following allegations of Christmas parties being held in his own office.