Cumbrian MPs have reacted to reports that a series of parties were held inside Number 10 during lockdown restrictions last year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is coming under increasing pressure after suggestions that three parties were held inside Downing Street while the country was embroiled in lockdown restrictions – with one held inside the Prime Minister’s own flat.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly reiterated that the “guidance was followed at all times” and that parties did not take place inside Downing Street.
Cumbria Crack approached each of the county’s MPs to ask for their response to the reports.
John Stevenson, Conservative MP for Carlisle
“Clearly, if anything did happen that shouldn’t have within the rules was clearly wrong, it is as simple as that. We will find out after the investigation.
“My own personal view is that as the rumours surfaced the Prime Minister should have instigated an investigation at that time.
“We have to be very careful. The impact it can have on public health is enormous, that is why Dominic Cummings resigned and Matt Hancock.”
Mr Stevenson said it was difficult to comment fully on the parties without knowing “what was the nature” of them and “who attended”.
He conceded that people who sacrificed spending precious time with loved ones last Christmas had the right to be frustrated adding that “I would be very angry and critical”.
“I changed my Christmas plans like many people so I understand the anger and frustration.”
Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale
“If these allegations are true then it will be a smack in the face to the millions of families up and down the country that were forced to spend Christmas apart last year.
“The hypocrisy of ministers in public telling people not to see their family and friends, while in private they throw a big party in Downing Street, absolutely stinks.”
Mark Jenkinson, Conservative MP for Workington
“To report unsubstantiated, anonymous claims as fact without any evidence or first-hand experience sets a dangerous precedent.
“Number 10 have been clear that all rules have been followed throughout. I was not personally invited to a party at Number 10 last Christmas nor do I have any evidence that any of my colleagues were.”
Trudy Harrison, Conservative MP for Copeland
“I attended many meetings in No10 throughout the time I held the role of Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.
“But specifically, I can say that I did not attend any Christmas parties – nor am I aware of any Christmas parties occurring.”
Neil Hudson, Conservative MP for Penrith and The Border
Dr Hudson declined to comment yesterday, but this morning – December 9 – released this statement:
“I was shocked and upset to see the footage of Downing Street staff making light of lockdown measures.
“It is vital, if we are to maintain public trust, that Government employees, politicians and officials follow the same rules as the rest of the country.
“This is now more important than ever as, understandably and necessarily, the public health guidelines have now been strengthened in response to the risks of the Omicron variant.
“People up and down the land have made incredible sacrifices, some of them personally heartbreaking, to obey the public health rules and quite rightly they are indignant and upset about this. I believe the Prime Minister has done the right thing in apologising unreservedly in the chamber of the House of Commons this week.
“It is only right that the Cabinet Secretary has been instructed to investigate the matter.”
Simon Fell, Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness
Mr Fell did not respond to requests for comment.
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