Northamptonshire MPs ‘100 percent’ behind Boris Johnson after Prime Minister refuses to quit over Downing Street 'partygate' fines

Leader is ‘world class’ says fellow Tory while Labour councillors condemn ‘more disrespect for the people’

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 8:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2022, 9:06 am

Conservative MPs in the county are rock-solid in their support for the Prime Minister refusing to quit over the Downing Street partygate scandal.

Michael Ellis described Boris Johnson as a “world class” leader while Peter Bone said he is an “exceptional” PM.

Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and Rishi Sunak confirmed on Tuesday (April 12) they have all paid fines for breaking Covid lockdown laws by attending a gathering in the Cabinet Room at No 10.

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The PM and Chancellor both apologised but the PM insists he will not resign despite claims he misled Parliament.

Deputy leader of the West Northamptonshire Labour group, Councillor Emma Roberts, tweeted last night: “Another lie, another breach of standards, more disrespect for people and the rule of law. Taxi for both please.”

Paymaster General Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North, was jeered in the Commons after saying he had “known the Prime Minister for many years and he is a man of honour and integrity,” during an urgent question on the issue in January.

Last night, Mr Ellis said on social media: “The Prime Minister has my 100 percent full support.

County MPs Michael Ellis, Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove tweeted their support for PM Boris Johnson

"Boris Johnson has delivered for this country in getting Brexit done, in world class leadership over the pandemic and in standing up for democracy in Ukraine.

"I know he is focused on continuing to deliver for the people of the UK.”

Wellingborough’s Peter Bone tweeted: “He is an exceptional Prime Minister. He has apologised and explained what happened in Downing Street. He has my 100 percent support!"

Corby MP, Tom Pursglove, said: “The PM has consistently apologised, without reservation — and rightly so.

"These are tough times for so many and there remains much to do in delivering on the promises we made to the country.

"We will rebuild trust by getting on with the job and rising to the challenges we face.”

A spokesman for the office of Andrew Lewer said the Northampton South MP is on holiday and unavailable for comment.

South Northamptonshire MP, Dame Andrea Leadsom, has been approached for comment.

Daventry’s Chris Heaton-Harris, who was promoted to Chief Whip by Mr Johnson in February, stopped short of offering his own backing but retweeted comments from fellow cabinet members including Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Metropolitan Police confirmed they made more than 50 referrals for fixed penalty notices to the Criminal Records Office after investigating gatherings held in Downing Street and Whitehall while restrictions were in place.

Mr Johnson described the gathering as “brief” lasting around nine minutes.

He added: “In that time it did not occur to me this might have been a breach of the rules.

"The police have found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation. I have paid the fine and want to offer a fulsome apology.”

A No 10 spokesman confirmed the Met explained the PM’s fine was over a gathering of two or more people on June 19, 2020.

Previous reports suggested up to 30 people sang the Tory leader ‘happy birthday’ and gave him with a cake in the Cabinet Room on this day.

It was alleged his wife Carrie arranged the gathering before hosting family friends upstairs in the PM’s residence.