A Tory councillor has been criticised for “defending the indefensible” after claiming everyone broke lockdown rules in support of Boris Johnson.
Lancashire county councillor Charlie Edwards defended the prime minister after Johnson apologised to MPs following a report into government parties during Covid restrictions.
The report, compiled by senior civil servant Sue Gray, listed events that are currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police and can’t thus detail her findings.
‘Everyone broke the rules’
But Gray noted a “failure of leadership” in Downing Street in the light of several allegations of broken Covid rules throughout the pandemic.
But Edwards defended Johnson, saying there are “much more important things to worry about”.
“In the middle of an unprecedented pandemic every single person you speak to will have broken a rule in some way,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire.
He added the prime minister is “ready to fight on and ready to take on board what has happened”.
“Now is the time for No 10 to be absolutely reorganised. I was always against lockdowns and now is the time to absolutely move on,” he said.
The Tory councillor also welcomed Johnson’s apology in a tweet, arguing he does need to “make changes, surround himself with Conservatives in Number 10 again and that there are much more important things to worry about: Russia, cost of living, levelling up, vaccines”.
Councillor Azhar Ali, local Labour group leader, said in response: “It is irresponsible – he is defending the indefensible.
“People kept to the rules and made big sacrifices. I can’t believe this has come from a cabinet member.”
And his deputy, councillor Lorraine Beavers, argued she was the only carer for her elderly parents and she did not think it is okay to break the rules, according to the BBC.
Tories ‘overwhelmingly’ support their leader over Partygate scandal
On a national level, Labour leader Keir Starmer said the prime minister was focused on “saving his own skin” rather than key issues.
But the Tories’ Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, said Johnson has “overwhelming” support from Conservative MPs.
Speaking to Times Radio, Raab said: “On the specific issues Sue Gray cited, I think he has addressed all of those questions in a fulsome way and, frankly, at the political level, my experiences in the Chamber but also at the meeting of Conservative MPs – overwhelmingly MPs backing him, wanting to see us getting on with the job.
“The economy is firing, the vaccine rollout has been a spectacular success. People, and I think our constituents, want to see us getting on with the job.”
On the BBC, Dorries claimed that the people criticising the PM over the report were the same people who had hit out at his leadership since before he was even elected leader of the Conservative party.