Norfolk MP says PM's tenure is now 'very difficult'

Duncan Baker comments on Boris Johnson lockdown party revelations

Duncan Baker has called No. 10 party revelations "absolutely disgraceful" and has said the PM's position as leader is now "very difficult" - Credit: PA/Richard Townsend Photography

A Norfolk MP has described the revelation that Boris Johnson attended a Downing Street party during lockdown as "absolutely disgraceful" and said it made his tenure as PM "very difficult".

Duncan Baker, who represents north Norfolk, made the comments while speaking on BBC Radio Norfolk this morning.

It followed the prime minister's apology yesterday for attending a 'bring your own booze' gathering in Number 10's garden in May 2020, while Covid restrictions were in place.

Mr Johnson is now facing growing pressure from both Conservative and Labour MPs to resign.

Mr Baker said: "The trust that has been eroded has been dreadful and we have to have some answers.

"We are now in a situation where there is a very large number of severe and grave misjudgements. When you put an invitation out and say 'BYOB,' I don't think anyone can interpret that as anything but a party.

"This investigation which has to come will give findings that in many people's eyes will be a defining moment.

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"An awful lot of trust has been eroded and that makes the tenure very difficult."

At PMQ's on Wednesday, Boris Johnson admitted to attending a 'BYOB' event at Number 10's garden in May 2020 during the first national lockdown.

The apology followed the leaking of an email on Monday that showed his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, had invited around 100 Downing Street staff to the gathering to “make the most of the lovely weather”.

Mr Baker added: "People have sacrificed enormous amounts and that is why the anger that we've seen about what has happened at the heart of government.

"Leading by example, trust, matters of integrity and adhering to the rules are hallmarks of how those in public life should behave and therefore I find this spate of revelations absolutely disgraceful."

North West Norfolk MP James Wild

North West Norfolk MP James Wild - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

North West Norfolk MP James Wild said his constituents feel "let down and angry" by the prime minister.

Mr Wild said: "My constituents, who made so many sacrifices during Covid, feel let down and are angry.

"The Prime Minister has rightly apologised personally and has acknowledged he should have acted differently. Now we need to wait for the results of the inquiry with all the facts which I hope will be concluded rapidly.”

Foreign Secretary and South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss. - Credit: Chris Bishop

The north Norfolk MP's comments are in opposition to the views of other Conservative Norfolk MPs.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss and Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis have both come forward to support the prime minister.

In a tweet Ms Truss, who is also the foreign secretary, stated that she backed the prime minister, believing he can "take our country forward."

Mr Lewis, who serves as the Northern Ireland secretary, said he believes Mr Johnson to be "the right person to be our prime minister".

Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, believes it is "vital that those who set the rules, follow the rules."

In a statement on her website, Mrs Smith said: "I shall certainly be looking extremely closely at the inquiry.

" I think it is right for the prime minister to take full responsibility for whatever it brings, being accountable to the House of Commons and to everyone across the country.

"The prime minister continues to have my support because I expect him to continue to work hard to deliver on the mandate that constituents in Norwich North and across the UK gave him in 2019."

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