MATT WESTERN MP COLUMN: We must see full report to trust findings of ‘Partygate’

We’re now in week seven and the ‘Partygate’ scandal continues. Let me start by saying that if I was a Conservative MP, I would have called for the prime minister to resign at the outset, writes Matt Western.

The PM must decide if the game is finally up
The PM must decide if the game is finally up

If I was a Conservative minister, I would have demanded he resign while tendering my own resignation.

Constituents who know me, know that.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

And contrary to popular belief, MPs are not all the same.

What damaging revelations of illegal behaviour will the prime minister be found to have been involved in next?

The all-important report by senior civil servant (second permanent secretary to the Cabinet Office) Sue Gray must be seen in full, and the PM – and those Government MPs defending him – must consider its contents and decide whether the game is finally up.

The prime minister and his front bench – who have been tasked with defending the indefensible – have been talking about waiting for the results of Ms Gray’s report for weeks now.

Despite the obvious concerns about a civil servant investigating her own boss, the contents will be highly damaging, with reports that the police and others have offered damning testimonies.

If the report is not seen in full, it will be nothing short of a cover-up.

If the prime minister gets to choose what the public sees from a report scrutinising his own behaviour, the public will be questioning what sort of country, and political system, we are living in.

I’ve also heard people call for a Covid fine amnesty. I don’t necessarily agree with this.

But I wholeheartedly agree that the Metropolitan Police should be issuing heavy fines to each and every single individual – especially the prime minister – who is found to have broken lockdown restrictions at Whitehall or Number 10.

There should be no exception to the rules.

And on the subject of MPs not all being the same, as someone who served as an opposition whip, I can confirm the immoral and borderline criminal behaviour of Government whips is not something that happens on the opposition benches.

The intimidation, use of personal information and alleged blackmail of some Conservative MPs in an attempt to save the prime minister is among the most egregious and shameful breaches of parliamentary protocols I’ve ever heard about.

It is quite right the accusations of William Wragg MP and other Conservatives are being heard and will be referred to the Parliamentary Standards Committee and, if necessary, the police.

When will the Conservative Party and this prime minister relent in bringing shame on our Parliament and our once internationally respected and emulated political system?

Meanwhile, the completely anti-democratic Elections Bill has passed its third reading in Parliament.

We are one step closer to US-style voter suppression under this bill, with the potential introduction of compulsory photo ID checks for the electorate.

As in America, many voters in the UK could soon face disenfranchisement and they will be mostly the poorest and those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The Government’s claims the bill is aimed at rooting out voter fraud is a total red herring, with statistics showing that incidents are few and far between. I will be voting against it at every opportunity I have.

Perhaps ousting Boris Johnson, ironically, can be the first step to ‘taking back control’ of our democracy, our parliamentary standards, our electoral system and our nation’s international standing.