Statement of 26 May 2022
Yesterday, I was in the Chamber to hear the Prime Minister’s statement on the publication of the Sue Gray report.
These illegal gatherings should never have occurred in Number 10, and it is right that the Prime Minister has once again apologised. The actions outlined in Sue Gray’s report were not, and never will be, okay, and it is right that over a hundred fines were handed out to those responsible.
I do not in any way support anyone blatantly breaking the Covid rules, which were put in place to protect us all. I, like the vast majority of those of us in Southport, consistently followed the rules, and I know from my conversations and correspondence with constituents how extremely difficult this was for them.
It is therefore welcome that most of the senior management of Downing Street has now changed, with a new chief of staff, a new principal private secretary, and a new communications director. It is also encouraging that Sue Gray states that “progress is being made in addressing the issues [she] raised”, and that steps are being taken to address many of the cultural issues outlined in her report.
I have made my views on this matter very clear to the Prime Minister, expressing the total disapproval of my constituents and I at the illegal activity that occurred in Number 10, and I stand poised to communicate further views if the promised changes do not imminently materialise. There remains great anger at the events in Downing Street, and as I speak with my constituents, I worry whether this can be resolved.
I realise that times are tough for many across Southport, with the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising energy costs, and global inflationary pressures testing us all. I am working tirelessly to see what more can be done to support those struggling, and I am in constant communication with the Government and with my constituents over these and other issues.
My priority continues to remain working for my constituents and standing up for their interests in Southport and in Parliament.