Commenting following the publication of the Findings of the Second Permanent Secretary’s Investigation into Alleged Gatherings on Government Premises During Covid Restrictions, Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow, said:
“I have been clear we should give both the Metropolitan Police and Sue Gray the opportunity to look into these events, and that Sue Gray’s report should be made available to the public in full. This has now happened, and her findings confirm those made in her interim report – namely, that there was a culture among some officials and senior leadership in Downing Street and the Cabinet Office which allowed some of those who worked there through the pandemic to show a lack of respect for either the great privilege of public service at the heart of Government; or the fact that others across the country were making immense sacrifices to keep communities safe from coronavirus.
I was in the House of Commons yesterday where the Prime Minister repeatedly apologised for the failings that happened on his watch. While the report does support the PM’s previous claims that he was not aware of the way in which some gatherings descended into late night drinking, either when he was not present, or after he had left. But it is right that he should take ultimate responsibility for these failings.
I do welcome the personnel changes within Downing Street already made by the PM after the interim report; and his claims to have changed the culture at the heart of government. He is also right to apologise directly to security and cleaning staff, who were treated with disdain by some junior staff who attended these events.
With all of the pressing issues facing the government, it should not have to spend time defending the integrity of the PM. While I have not called for his resignation, the PM now has to demonstrate with actions not just words, that he is the right person to ensure the return of due decorum and propriety that all our constituents expect from politicians, especially so the Prime Minister.”