Boris Johnson must resign if he knew about Downing Street Christmas party, says Scottish Tory leader

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Max Parry

By Max Parry

Published: 08/12/2021

- 16:12

Updated: 08/12/2021

- 16:48

Douglas Ross says the PM must step down if he knowingly misled parliament

Boris Johnson should step down as Prime Minister if he misled parliament over the party, Douglas Ross has said.

The Scottish Tory leader told Sky News: “If he knew there was a party, if he knew it took place, then he cannot come to the House of Commons and say there was no party.

“That would be a very serious allegation if that were to be the outcome of the inquiry and we’d have to see the outcome of the inquiry before we speculate on that.

“But anyone who says there wasn’t a party, but knew about it and said in parliament there was no party has misled parliament.

“That is a serious charge and you cannot continue in the highest office in the land if you’ve done that.”

He added: “If the inquiry said that this time last year he was aware of a party being organised and he knew about a party, that’s a totally different picture and we cannot have the Prime Minister or any member of any parliament coming to the chamber saying one thing when they know the exact opposite.”

It is “undeniable” that there was some kind of party in Downing Street last December, Scottish Tory leader said.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross says the PM should resign if he knew about the Christmas party.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross says the PM should resign if he knew about the Christmas party.
Jane Barlow

He went on: “I’ve looked at that video and looked at everything else that we’ve seen over the last week, and said there was a party of some kind.

“That is undeniable, I think, and that’s why I am saying it’s right we ask these serious questions – we get the answers quickly.”

When he first saw a video of Downing Street staff appearing to joke about the party, Mr Ross said: “I just thought it confirmed everything that people had been suggesting that we had been told hadn’t happened.

“It’s clear from that video that there was a party of some kind, now I don’t know exactly what it was, I don’t know who was there, I don’t know how it was organised or how it played out, but from that video it’s pretty clear there was a party and, therefore, serious questions have to be answered.

“The guidance was crystal clear, there was no ambiguity – it said no Christmas lunches, no Christmas parties – that’s what people in Downing Street were telling the public to follow, yet it seems people within that building weren’t doing that themselves.”

However, Mr Ross will not resign in protest as leader of the Scottish Tories in response to the Prime Minister’s handling of allegations that a party took place in Downing Street last December.

Mr Ross resigned as a Scotland Office minister last year after Dominic Cummings broke coronavirus restrictions but said his current post is different.

“I don’t believe so, it’s totally independent from the UK Government, from the Prime Minister, from the UK party – it’s Conservative members here in Scotland who decide who leads the party here in Scotland.”

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