Fri, 19 July 2024

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The House Live All
By Ben Guerin
Press releases

Sajid Javid Says Downing Street Party Scandal Has "Damaged Our Democracy"

2 min read

Sajid Javid has said that Downing Street parties have caused "damage to our democracy" but continued to refuse to say whether Boris Johnson should resign if he is found to have breached the ministerial code.

Javid believed people were "right to ask questions" about Downing Street parties, but said we should wait for the outcome of the Sue Gray report before casting final judgements on the allegations.

Speaking on Thursday, he said that the two parties held on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral were "wrong in every single way" and that he was "looking forward to disciplinary action" being taken against those involved.

"Of course things like this damage our democracy," Javid continued.

"From what we already know, from the people who have come forward and apologised for the parties that took place, for example, the one that took place on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral, that was completely wrong.

"It was wrong in every single way and that is already damaging, of course it is."

Javid believed that "trust is a hugely important part of our system, of our democracy," and people were right to scrutinse the behaviour of those in high office. 

"But at the same time, I think it is right to wait for the outcome of the investigation so the facts are established," he added. 

Johnson has repeatedly refused to say whether he will resign if he is found by the Gray inquiry to have broken the ministerial code over the Downing Street gatherings.

Speaking to Sky News, the Health Secretary also refused to speak about the Prime Minister directly, but said as a "general point" that ministers should be expected to resign if the breached the rules.

"If any minister, from the Prime Minister down, breaks the law, of course they shouldn’t continue to serve as a minister," he said.

"There are no exceptions to that rule."

Pressure continues to grow on the Prime Minister to step down, with former cabinet minister David Davis using Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday to publicly call for his resignation.

Javid said the intervention by the senior backbencher, which came just minutes after Bury North MP Christian Wakeford defected to Labour, was "damaging" for the party.

"I've known David Davis for many years, got huge respect for him, we don't always agree on everything and that is one thing I don't agree with him on," he said.

"It is damaging, of course it is. If you said to me would I rather he didn't get him and say something like that then, of course, I wouldn't want to see that, but that's the decision he made."

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