Conservative council leaders blasts ‘shameful’ handling of partygate scandal
Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter
The Conservative leader of Monmouthshire council has questioned whether Boris Johnson “can ever repair the broken bond of trust between him and the public”.
Cllr Richard John, leader of the council, and deputy leader, Cllr Sara Jones, have criticised the prime minister over his handling of alleged parties at Downing Street.
Cllr John said they were “appalled and angry at the behaviour of staff in Downing Street”.
“The prime minister needs to reflect on whether he can ever repair the broken bond of trust between him and the public, who are rightly furious,” Cllr John said.
“We’re all human and we all make mistakes from time to time.
“But when you make mistakes, it’s how you handle them that matters.
“You disclose all the relevant information, you apologise and you explain how you will put things right.”
Cllr John said the prime minister had generally “navigated the pandemic well”, but he added “if you ask the public to abide by rules, those rules are sacred”.
“We urgently need to see what the report concludes in a few days’ time,” he said. “But the residents I’ve been talking to are sick to death of this and they feel that there’s been a complete and almost irreparable breakdown in trust between the prime minister and the public and I’m not sure if he can ever repair that.”
Cllr Jones said: “Right now our political leaders in Wales and the UK need to be focussed on how we strengthen the economic recovery, better prioritise wellbeing and establish what a roadmap out of restrictions looks like.
“Instead, we are having to deal with what feels like an irrevocable and unforgivable loss of public confidence.
“It’s utterly shameful.”
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