Downing Street lockdown party: Boris Johnson has achieved much as Prime Minister but he must resign – Murdo Fraser MSP

No Tory calls on the party leader to quit lightly – particularly not when they are a Tory Party leader themselves.

Boris Johnson apologised at Prime Minister's Questions for attending an event held in the garden of 10 Downing Street during lockdown (Picture: House of Commons/PA)

But, sadly, my colleague and friend Douglas Ross is correct to call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to do so and I salute his courage in his showing leadership to the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

The sad truth is that the Prime Minister is undermining the cause he seeks to champion. His mishandling of ‘Partygate’ has damaged trust in him.

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Perhaps with the magnifying glass of a pedant lawyer you can say that the Prime Minister was just within the Covid rules. Maybe if you have a glut of goodwill, you can give him the benefit of the doubt. But even if the letter can be argued to be intact, the spirit of the law has been broken.

While the nation played by the rules, it looks like the Prime Minister and Downing Street were playing to another set. Accusations of breaking the Covid rules were met with responses that could not be accused of candour.

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Douglas Ross tells Boris Johnson to resign after the Prime Minister admitted att...

The Prime Minister was not open when he should have been. Facts seemed to be denied at worst, or dragged out of him at best. The idea that he did not realise that a party had been organised by his principal private secretary in his own back garden, until he stepped into it, is hard to believe.

Boris Johnson has achieved much in his tenure. He delivered Brexit, led the effort to make us one of the most vaccinated populations on the planet, and his levelling up agenda is imaginative, ambitious and necessary. He won the largest Conservative majority in a General Election in more than 30 years.

But a politician who was once the great message carrier is now sending the wrong one. The man who could cut through the jargon to connect with the public, despite his privileged background, has now cut through with more negative news about himself.

As a consequence, the Prime Minister’s position is no longer tenable. He has lost public trust, and it is in the interests of the country, and the Conservative Party, that he steps down.

Murdo Fraser is a Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife

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