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‘Confusion’ over Downing Street parties ’caused upset and anger’, says Welsh Tory MP

17 Jan 2022 3 minute read
David T.C. Davies. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter

A Welsh Tory MP has suggested that “confusion” about reports of parties held in Downing Street during lockdown have “caused upset and anger”.

David Davies, a minister in the Wales Office and MP for Monmouth, was responding to Abergavenny councillor Martyn Groucutt, who called on him to back removing the Prime Minister Boris Johnson from office if he refuses to resign.

The Conservative politician said what happened was “clearly wrong” but added that it would also be incorrect to suggest MPs were aware of the events, which he said involved civil servants and officials.

An inquiry has been launched into alleged rule-breaking parties held at 10 Downing Street while Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

In an email to Mr Davies, Cllr Groucutt said those calling to wait for the outcome of the inquiry are “hiding from the obvious”.

“Enough party givers and party-goers have admitted to their actions for us to know that we have had been subject to one set of rules for the ruling elite and another for the rest of us,” the Labour councillor said.

In response to the email, Mr Davies said he understood why “the confusion over recent issues has caused upset and anger”, and that constituents have “every right to feel aggrieved” by the allegations.

Mr Davies said 10 Downing Street is “one of the most secure buildings in the world”, and has more than 100 rooms and offices inside.

“It seems that some of the people who work together in Number 10 decided to go into the garden, drink alcohol for a period of time and then go back to work again,” Mr Davies said.

“Apart from the Prime Minister, who has confirmed that he attended to thank staff, they were all civil servants or officials.

“There is absolutely no way that I, or any MP, would be aware of what civil servants in a secure building seven minutes walk from Parliament are doing at any time.

“MPs cannot walk freely into Downing Street or No 10 Downing Street unless they have a pre-arranged meeting.”

‘Not trying to make excuses’

Mr Davies added: “I’m not trying to make excuses, it was clearly wrong but it is incorrect for the media to suggest that MPs could have seen it, heard it, known about it, or been able to attend it.

“I don’t know anything about any Downing Street ‘parties’ and what has been reported and speculated on in the press.

“I don’t see any point in making a comment before the result of the independent investigation. Personally, I would prefer the facts to be established first, and that if it is found that rules were broken, then disciplinary action will follow for all those involved.”

Asked about Cllr Groucutt’s call to support removing the prime minister from office, Mr Davies said: “I would be interested to know if Martyn has written to Keir Starmer in the same terms, to ask why he was drinking beer with work colleagues in an office.”

The Labour leader has denied breaking Covid rules in the photo.


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Rob
Rob
6 months ago

The way some Tory MPs are trying to defend Boris is reminiscent of how the Republicans are downplaying Trump’s actions on January 6th. Are they seriously expecting us to eat this up?
And how exactly does Keir Starmer’s actions get Boris off the hook. They just want to resort to ‘what aboutisms’? Pathetic

Grayham Jones
6 months ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a New Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Michael Rieveley
Michael Rieveley
6 months ago

David Davies MP is being ingenuous when he tries to infer the regular partying with numerous attendees including the Boris Johnson is something which can be excused or brushed under the carpet. There is already sufficient evidence without having to wait for the report of the civil servant Sue Gray whose findings will go to the Prime Minister’s office before being released to parliament and the public. The only confusion is in his own mind and not in that of the public.They have been lied to and have been treated with contempt by a government that considers itself above and… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Michael Rieveley
defaid
defaid
6 months ago

Poisonous word-mincing to55.

It’s not the confusion that’s caused upset and anger. It’s the illegal parties.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago

People are not confused, Mr Davies. We are furious!

Phil
Phil
6 months ago

‘One of the most secure buildings in the world’. Exactly. Did the police at the Downing Street gates not notice the trips to the off-licence? Did next-door-neighbour Rishi not look out of his window?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Every bag entering Numbers Ten and Eleven is either searched or scanned so the bent coppers have a record of the booze brought in and can you even imagine that doors to the garden are left unattended so they also know from logs who, how many, when and what they carried.
Cressida Credibility Dick has said her bent coppers would investigate “only if Ms Gray’s inquiry revealed criminal acts.”
Ms Gray’s inquiry terms specifically forbid her from making such a decision. Catch 22. TC needs to go for a swim in the sewage polluted rivers he voted for.

WilliamsG
WilliamsG
6 months ago

The electorate are not confused, they are not that stupid. We can all see what is going on and unfortunately will continue to happen even if Boris Johnson stands down. The leader may change but the unaccountable and corrupt system will continue

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

No confusion. Just reverse anything that Johnson utters.

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