David Davis Tells Boris Johnson “In The Name Of God Go” Over Partygate Allegations
Boris Johnson was told to resign by senior Tory MP David Davis in the middle of Prime Minister's Questions (Alamy)
The Prime Minister was told to resign by one of the most senior Conservative backbenchers in a bruising Commons encounter after one of his own MPs defected to Labour.
David Davis stood up in the chamber and told the Tory leader “in the name of God, go”, after accusing him of failing to take responsibility for the alleged parties in Number 10 during lockdown.
The former Brexit secretary said he had spent “weeks and months defending the Prime Minister against often angry constituents”, and had “reminded them of his success in delivering Brexit, the vaccine and many other things”.
However speaking in PMQs he was critical of Johnson’s comments to the media yesterday, where he had claimed of a drinks party in the Downing Street garden in May 2020: "Nobody told me that what we were doing was against the rules.”
Davis added: “I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. Yesterday, he did the opposite of that.”
Quoting the Conservative politician Leo Amery, who famously called on Neville Chamberlain to resign as Prime Minister, he said: “You're sadly too long for the good you have done. In the name of God, go.”
It came less than half an hour after the Tory MP Christian Wakeford crossed the floor to join Labour in protest at Johnson’s leadership.
Just before PMQs began the Bury South representative, who was elected in 2019, came into the Commons and sat behind Sir Keir Starmer, his new party leader.
Starmer opened his comments by welcoming Wakeford to the Labour benches, saying: "The Labour Party has changed and so has the Conservative Party.
“He and anyone else who wants to build a new Britain built on decency, security - is welcomed in my Labour Party."
He then attacked Johnson for his response to the party allegations, saying: "Last week he said he didn't realise he was at a party and surprise, surprise no-one believed him.
"So this week he has got a different defence - nobody warned him that it was against the rules."
Starmer added: "Why on earth does he think his new defence is going to work?"
Johnson repeated his comments, but said people must wait for the outcome of the senior civil servant Sue Gray’s investigation into a host of alleged gatherings in government departments during the pandemic.
Responding to Wakeford’s defection the Prime Minister said: "As for Bury South, let me say to him, the Conservative Party won Bury South for the first time in a generation under this Prime Minister on an agenda of of uniting and levelling up and delivering for the people of Bury South.
"We will win again in Bury South."
But Starmer pressed Johnson on when he he first became aware staff had "concerns" about the garden party on May 20, 2020, after his former chief aide Dominic Cummings said he was willing to swear under oath he was warned against the event taking place.
Johnson replied "it is for the inquiry to come forward with an explanation of what happened", adding: "I am afraid he simply must wait."
Referencing reports a suitcase was used to bring wine into Downing Street for one of the other parties, the Labour leader countered: "I know it's not going well Prime Minister, but look on the bright side - at least his staff at Number 10 know how to pack a suitcase."
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