Boris Johnson doesn’t believe he broke rules, says cabinet minister

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has said that Boris Johnson does not believe he broke Covid rules by attending a Downing Street drink party during the first lockdown.

Mr Lewis said people should wait for senior civil servant Sue Grey’s report on what had happened before arriving at a decision.

“The prime minister has underlined that he does not believe he has done anything outside the rules. If that’s what you find in the investigation, then people will be able to have their views on that at that time,” he told Sky News.

Mr Lewis dismissed reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak was lukewarm in support of Mr Johnson.

“I have seen Rishi working with the Prime Minister. They work by hand. I know Rishi has got the support of the Prime Minister,” he said.

“What I’ve seen yesterday, and I’ve looked through it constantly, is whether the cabinet is fully attached, working together.”

Mr Lewis told Sky News: “I personally think the prime minister is the right person to be prime minister.

“I think we will be able to go ahead and win the general election.

“We have work to do. We have to work on exactly what the Prime Minister set out to do, which are some of the biggest significant reforms the country would have tackled years ago, such as health and social Care, Northern Ireland issues that are in heaven. Haven’t been dealt with in decades.

“It’s someone who wants to tackle this and do it in a way that saves for everyone in the UK, and that’s why I think he’ll win the next election.”

Shadow Housing Secretary Lisa Nandy has said the prime minister’s position is “untenable” and that her appearance at the Downing Street party while lockdown restrictions were in place caused an “incredible” amount of “hurt and anguish”.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said: “If you listen carefully to what he said in the House of Commons yesterday, he was apologizing for the notion of what happened when he attended this drink party during lockdown .

“He was even apologizing, it seemed, because he’s sorry he got caught.

“What he hasn’t done is become clear to all the parties that not only him but other members of the cabinet participated in – he told us over and over again that no rules have been broken.

“I think the MPs who have come forward and said that their position is completely unstable are absolutely right.

“The pain and suffering this has caused people is unbelievable.”

Ms Nandy has said there are “serious questions to be answered” by “several cabinet ministers” over their lockdown activities amid a controversy from Downing Street parties.

She told BBC Breakfast: “He (Boris Johnson) needs to be honest and level with the British public about which parties he attended during the lockdown and which parties his own ministers attended.

“Serious questions have to be answered, not only for the prime minister, but for many cabinet ministers who have been in parties but will not answer basic questions about them.

“The prime minister has had ample opportunities to strike a chord with the public, now is the time to be honest with us and to do so does not require scrutiny by a civil servant.”

She also questioned why the Metropolitan Police Force had not launched a comprehensive investigation into allegations that more parties were attended by members of the government, when there were strict coronavirus restrictions.

Ms Nandy told Times Radio: “I think the level of public anger is very high.

“Ultimately, if Tory MPs don’t do the right thing and find the courage and backbone to get rid of the prime minister, the ball will be in the public’s court.

“Based on what I see in my inbox this morning, I think the Prime Minister should not be relied upon to survive despite his apparent and apparently desperate attempts to remain in power at this time.” “

The Labor MP said: “It is strange that given the many evidences about what is happening in Downing Street, the police have not launched any comprehensive investigation.”