'Completely disgusted': Conservative councillors in Wakefield furious with Boris Johnson over Downing Street Christmas party

A trio of Tory councillors have torn in to Boris Johnson, saying they are "disgusted" with him for his handling of the Downing Street Christmas party debacle.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 8:59 am
Updated Friday, 10th December 2021, 9:00 am

Nic Stansby, Gill Cruise and Simon Fishwick, all of whom represent the Conservatives in Wakefield, have called on the Prime Minister to "take responsibility" and "face the music".

In a blistering attack, one even suggested Mr Johnson was showing "zero moral courage" and "no integrity".

Downing Street continues to deny a party took place on December 18 last year, when Covid restrictions would have made it illegal.

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The Prime Minister has come under fire from his own party.

That's despite the Prime Minister being bounced into announcing an inquiry on Wednesday, after a video of his senior spokeswoman joking about the gathering emerged.

Today, the inquiry was expanded to cover two other alleged parties from around that time, including another at Number 10 and one at the Department of Education.

Speaking on Thursday, Councillor Cruise, who represents the Horbury and South Ossett ward, said: "We have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic.

"We have taken care and we’ve been responsible.

Clockwise from bottom left: Councillors Nic Stansby, Simon Fishwick and Gill Cruise have called on Mr Johnson to "show leadership" and explain his actions.

"It’s our jobs to do that. We don’t want any praise for it, it’s what we were elected for.

"I’m completely disgusted with him. It’s a kick in the guts to us all."

Coun Cruise said that being an elected councillor was an "honour" and that she and her colleagues were "proud to do it".

She added: "One would like to think that our boss (the Prime Minister) would appreciate that. When things like this happen it makes us feel ashamed."

Councillor Fishwick suggested Mr Johnson was showing "zero moral courage".

Coun Stansby, who leads the Conservative group on the council said: "We’ve stuck by the rules, we’ve followed all the guidelines.

"I know of people who’ve committed suicide because they couldn’t access grief counselling or support from the community, because the rules said you couldn’t go for a walk with more than one person, or because you couldn’t meet with more than one member of the family.

"They felt isolated, they felt lonely. Mental health issues are going through the roof, because of the restrictions that we have gone through."

All three elected members said the enforcement of new 'Plan B' Covid restrictions, and any further measures, would be severely undermined by the scandal.

Coun Fishwick, who was elected to serve Horbury and South Ossett in 2019, also suggested voters would remember the episode at the ballot box.

He said: "Of course, confidence is gone. It’s absolutely flattened - there’s no confidence at all in anything coming down from government.

"There’s a lack of integrity, a lack of honesty, a lack of trust, moral courage (is) completely zero.

"He needs to lead from the front and start taking responsibility - head up, shoulders back."

The trio said they did not want Mr Johnson to resign as Prime Minister, however.

Coun Stansby added: "I think he should face the music.

"At the end of the day he is Prime Minister, he is ultimately responsible for anything that happens in the building.

"I don’t want him to stand down, I want him to take responsibility and explain to the electorate and all of us how this happened."

Local Democracy Reporting Service