Welsh Secretary still ‘trusts’ Boris Johnson despite lockdown party allegations
The Westminster-appointed Welsh Secretary has said he still trusts Boris Johnson despite allegations surrounding lockdown rule-breaking party in Downing Street.
Simon Hart has responded to criticism of the UK Prime Minister, who was forced to admit today that he did attend a “bring your own booze” gathering, which was held in the No 10 garden during the first coronavirus lockdown in May 2020.
Johnson insisted to MPs in the House of Commons today that the event in the Downing Street garden was “technically within the rules” but added that he should have realised how it would look to the public, and he apologised for that.
In response to calls to resign he urged MPs to wait for the outcome of an inquiry by senior civil servant Sue Gray into the alleged Covid law-breaking.
The Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams, has said the Johnson’s performance in the House of Commons shows that he has “no authority, no integrity, no shame”.
Simon Hart has refused to join calls for Boris Johnson to resign, but insisted that he understood people’s anger and frustration.
He told reporters at a press briefing: “All I’m saying here is… I know the guy [and] that he is as anxious as anybody for this to be resolved. We will all have plenty of time to chew over Sue Gray’s conclusions around this thing.
“But the fact is that I think I’ve got to know him sufficiently well, over the last couple of years in my dealings with him, you know, whether they’re formal or informal, to be able to say with with confidence, that I trust him.”
He added: “We are all completely sympathetic and completely understand…the frustration and in many cases, the hurt and the indignation and the incredulity that emerging stories like this produce.”
“My working relationship with him, as with the cabinet’s working relationship with him, that remains unchanged. And rightly so. You know, we operate on the basis of collective responsibility and as best as it’s ever possible in politics to operate on a team basis and that has not altered in any way.”
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions today, Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams, said: “Today’s PMQs showed that Boris Johnson is a Prime Minister with no authority, no integrity, no shame.
“The public know that the Prime Minister partied while they were in lockdown. But all we heard today was excuse after excuse, lie after lie.
“Johnson has had ample opportunity to show humility and do the right thing by resigning. Now it’s time for his backbenchers, including Welsh Conservative MPs who sat in silence or asked friendly questions in the Chamber today, to show a backbone and get rid of this liar from Number 10.”