Brexit bashing behind Boris Johnson’s coup blasts Labor baroness | Politics | New

Baroness Hoey has vigorously defended Boris Johnson in the House of Lords amid the Partygate storm threatening to sweep the Prime Minister from Number 10. The Brexit-supporting peer has taken a tough stance against parties breaking the lockdown in Whitehall and the behavior of the Prime Minister himself, but also gave a clear slap in the face to critics of the Prime Minister who she said resented Mr Johnson’s leading role in Brexit.

Ms Hoey told the House of Lords: “The public was clearly very, very angry when they first heard about what was happening in Whitehall.

“Now we have had to report Sue Gray and I commend her diligence, we have had the Prime Minister’s full apology, we have had the report from the Metropolitan Police and we have seen changes in Downing Street.

“I think outside of this place and maybe some elements for the media, many elements of the public, probably the majority of the public don’t really want to draw a line under all of this so that we can address the issues that really affect the country.”

She then turned to the government minister and asked: ‘Does she agree with me that there will be people who will never give up criticizing the prime minister because they don’t like the fact that the Prime Minister took us out of the European Union, and is that still hugely understated now, especially in some elements of the media?”

Mr Johnson’s hopes of drawing a line under the party row suffered a blow on Thursday after a string of Tory MPs called on him to quit following Sue Gray’s report.

Four Tories have gone public since the publication of the damning report which laid bare the extent of loud behavior in No 10 at a time when millions of people were forced to cut off contact with loved ones during lockdowns coronavirus.

Former cabinet minister Stephen Hammond and fellow MPs David Simmonds and John Baron spoke on Thursday, following Julian Sturdy who demanded Mr Johnson’s departure on Wednesday.

Mr Hammond said he ‘cannot and will not defend the indefensible’ and indicated he had sent a letter of no confidence to the 1922 Tory backbench committee.

Mr Simmonds, MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner – his constituency is next to Mr Johnson’s – said: ‘It is clear that while the government and our policies enjoy the public’s trust, the Prime Minister will not. ‘is not.

“As a result, it is time for him to step aside so that new leaders can advance the important work of government to ensure the prosperity of our people and our country.”

The publication of Ms Gray’s report follows the conclusion of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Hillman investigation into the No 10 and Whitehall parties.

The force issued 126 fines for breaching the rules at No 10 and Whitehall, with the Prime Minister given just one notice of a fixed fine for his birthday party in June 2020.


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Edward L. Robinett