Alicia Kearns welcomes Boris Johnson’s pledge to improve behavioural standards of staff at Downing Street but she says it does not make up for what went on when the nation was prevented from meeting up with loved ones, friends and work colleagues in social gatherings to limit further spread of the virus.
Detailed information in the Gray report was redacted because of an ongoing police investigation into the allegations, but the independent civil servant concluded that there were failures of leadership and judgement, as well as excessive drinking at work.
Mrs Kearns recently met fellow Conservative MPs in her Westminster office to discuss concerns over the issue and national media implicated her in a so-called ‘Pork Pie Plot’ to oust the Prime Minister, although she strongly denies leading any rebellion against the MP.
In her latest Melton Times column, Mrs Kearns wrote: “Sue Gray’s update, released on Monday, confirmed that an unacceptable culture has developed around Number 10, as I have previously set out.
“It is the bare minimum that the Prime Minister has announced that he will change this culture.
“I welcome this, even if it doesn’t right the wrongs done so far.
“My view has always been clear: law makers cannot be law breakers, and those who made the decision to break the rules while the rest of us were following them, in the harshest of circumstances, must look very long and hard at themselves because these behaviour and attitudes, now under investigation by the police, demonstrate at best indifference, and at worse contempt, for the sacrifices of us all.”
It is reported that 17 Tory MPs have now submitted letters of no confidence in the leadership of Boris Johnson, with 54 needed to trigger an election on the party leader.