Andy Street responds to Boris Johnson’s ‘Partygate’ apology – and does he forgive the PM

Fuming West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has issued a scathing response to Boris Johnson’s apology after the PM attended a boozy Downing Street party during the height of the pandemic.

Conservative Mr Street lost his mother Kovid in February 2021.

Earlier this week, he said it was “very unbelievable” to find out about the gathering at No. 10 in the garden when the country had stringent coronavirus restrictions.

Read more: Mayor Andy Street ‘in disbelief’ at Downing Street lockdown party in May 2020

The mayor told BBC Radio WM on Tuesday that he was “very hungry” to know what had happened, but added: “We don’t know if the prime minister was there”.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson issued a sincere apology, where he admitted to attending the event but claimed he didn’t know it was a party.

Speaking to Birmingham Live on Thursday at a career fair for young people in Smith’s Wood, Solihull, Mr Street said the revelations were “shocking and disappointing”.

“I gave my views and my opinion didn’t really move forward,” he said last night, speaking before the revelations that Downing Street staff attended on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral last April.

A report in the Telegraph claimed that employees attended a night with a worker at a local Tesco to fill a suitcase with alcohol.

Boris Johnson was not in Downing Street at the time.

Asked before those latest revelations on his thoughts on the issue, Mr. Street said: “As I said it was quite shocking and disappointing that this was the case. The sentiments I expressed are still completely are stable from

“But I think you saw (Wednesday) from the Prime Minister – and I looked at it very carefully – the human inside me said it was a very genuine apology.

“He knows he did wrong – which he did – and he stood there in a very difficult situation and said ‘I got that wrong’.”

West Midlands Greater Andy Street

And while Mr Street said Boris Johnson should stay on as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party for now, he suggested it would take more than an apology for Mr Johnson to get back on his good books.

Asked whether he forgave the prime minister after the apology, he replied: “I guess we will have to wait to see all the facts around it to see the full picture.

“I respect the fact that he faced it a lot and said ‘this is the picture’.

“I await the outcome of the investigation. We know what happened but we need to understand more about the context.”

According to a leaked email to ITV News, more than 100 people were invited to a boozy drinks event in Downing Street on May 20, 2020 – the height of the first lockdown.

At the time, large gatherings were banned and even meeting outside with someone outside your home was limited to just one other person.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street ride with a towpath during bike joy time
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street ride with a towpath during bike joy time – Street has said he is ‘disappointed’ by news about Downing Street parties

The revelation came amid claims of multiple parties taking place at 10 Downing Street and other government departments in May 2020, December 2020 and April 2021.

Reports this morning (December 14) even suggested that No 10 had a scintillating bash the night before the Queen sat down alone to mourn her late husband Prince Philip.

The president and official of the Sutton Coldfield Conservative constituency union – a true blue Tory stronghold – have now voted unanimously that Boris Johnson should resign.

Simon Ward, leader of Sutton Coldfield Town Council, said he blamed Mr Johnson for Downing Street parties that broke lockdown rules.

Count Ward said: “Culture starts at the top, doesn’t it?”

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