Welsh Secretary Simon Hart says Downing Street lockdown party caused ‘disappointment, hurt and outrage’

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said he acknowledged the lockdown parties in Downing Street in ‘frustration, hurt and outrage’.

While no cabinet ministers did the usual rounds with broadcasters on Wednesday morning, Welsh Secretary Simon Hart held his regular briefing with reporters on Wednesday morning.

Mr Hart declined to say whether he thought the prime minister should step down, but said he still had confidence in him.

You can watch the Prime Minister’s Questions live here.

He said: “I want to be as clear and open as possible, noting the PMQ in an hour where this topic will be aired in some detail and with that in mind Sue Gray will consider this topic any time now. Going to do. In the next few days. There are a lot of things to do to take this story to the next level. [and could] Whatever I say now I will present it very quickly.

“We are in the middle of an investigation, which was set up by the PM to get to the bottom and find out the truth about what was appropriate at that time and what was not. It is disappointing to rely on it. There has to be an investigation and we should be careful. We should not pre-decide what the Prime Minister will say or say in a few minutes.

“One thing I’m not going to do is do something that is unquestionably a matter of significant public concern.

“I don’t live on a different planet. The frustration and hurt and resentment and unreliability are what create stories like this. I, like everyone else, have family and friends asking me these questions. We have to get to the bottom of this.” .

“A decision will need to be made about what happens next.

“The last thing any of us want is to add to the suffering that Covid has already inflicted. It is our obligation and duty to get to the bottom of the matter. The disappointment for now is that it is a very may be a different story [after PMQs] Or when Sue Gray comes in with a report.”

He was asked whether he thinks the prime minister should apologise or step down if it is confirmed that he was in the party on May 20.

“I know the PM and know he is disappointed by this and know that there is an image that he has been closer to Covid than a lot of people. It is as frustrating and upsetting to him as anyone else. My working relationship with him, and the entire cabinet, remains unchanged and rightly so,” Mr. Hart said.

He was also asked if he himself was in any party. “I wasn’t on these or any other for that matter during that period,” he said.

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Asked if he could trust the prime minister, he replied: “I know, because I know the man, he’s as concerned as anyone to solve it. Him. That’s the government’s head.” is the leader, I am its member and as far as I am concerned he is in a similar position to me because it wants it to be resolved and facts to be out there and decisions we can all rely on for people to make.”

Mr Hart said he “absolutely wished we weren’t talking about this”. He added that no one who worked in Downing Street “thought it was a happy place”.

“There’s a gloom and dodge about this.”

He said that this happens not only within the party but in politics in general. “Issues like these do not help our efforts to navigate our way out of COVID or into better economic times.”

“If investigations come to the fore and uncover areas where wrong decisions were made, people will expect those wrong decisions or errors to be corrected. It’s about openness and accountability.”

“I find it all as difficult as anyone else”.

He was put under pressure as to why the PM did not answer whether he had joined any party or not.

“There is a public expectation where there should be an independent inquiry. There is no one in the entire civil service who has a pedigree in terms of propriety and morality. Yes, the PM could have said whatever he wanted, but by putting it in the hands of someone like him, we Might have moved on. Sue Gray should be able to inform the public about what happened without fear or favour.”

He has been repeatedly asked whether he, both as a cabinet member, and at an individual level, thinks he should step down if the PM is in the party on May 20. Mr. Hart repeatedly declined to answer the question, saying he would wait to see. What will the Prime Minister say in the Commons in the afternoon?

“I’m not going to start adding my thoughts to information that I don’t even know about. I’m going to have to boringly wait and see what Sue Gray has to say when the report comes out.”

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