Tory MPs Receive Hundreds Of Damning Emails From Constituents Over Downing Street Parties
Conservative MPs have said their inboxes have been flooded this week with outraged emails from constituents about the parties held in Downing Street, as public anger erupts over Boris Johnson's handling of the scandal.
As they return to their constituencies this weekend, MPs are also braced for difficult conversations with members of the public at surgeries and events they are due to attend.
One exasperated Tory said they had already had "fucking hundreds" of emails from people livid about the parties held during lockdown restrictions and how Johnson has confronted the issue this week after it was revealed he attended one gathering.
"I've had lots of emails from people demanding that Boris goes," the MP Andrew Bridgen told PoliticsHome, adding that he'd had more emails about this issue than the storm after Johnson's advisor Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules when he drove to Barnard Castle with coronavirus symptoms.
Former cabinet minister Karen Bradley said her inbox was "brutal" in an interview with Times Radio today, and one veteran Tory told PoliticsHome "the inbox is rough".
"My association is in uproar about this," said another Tory MP as they made their way back to their northern constituency.
"It's Cummings level of emails from a lot of Tory voters," they added.
An MP in a solid Tory safe seat said they'd received "plenty" of emails. "Anyone who says otherwise is on another planet, or in denial."
The revelations of a string of parties held by senior government staff during the height of Covid restrictions have rumbled on for over a month, but reached new levels of outrage this week when the Prime Minister confirmed he had briefly attended a gathering in the garden of 10 Downing Street on May 2020.
The event was "bring your own booze" and invites were emailed by Johnson's principal private secretary Martin Reynolds to 100 people. In his apology, Johnson said he stayed for 25 minutes and did not know it was a party, assuming it was a work event.
As Cabinet figures slowly gathered around Johnson to Tweet out messages of support and defend his apology in media interviews yesterday, news broke of two leaving parties for No 10 staff, including the Prime Minister's former spokesperson James Slack, held on 16 April, the day before Prince Phillip's funeral.
Today Downing Street apologised to Buckingham Palace. Slack released a statement of apology. “This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility,” he said.
Senior civil servant Sue Gray, who is tasked with investigating all the parties is due to report her findings to the Prime Minister shortly, but some Tory MPs have already said that Johnson should resign, including leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross.
Constituents sent thousands of emails to their MPs when Cummings broke the rules in May 2020 – before that the biggest post-bag topic had been Brexit.
Messages expressing unhappiness over the parties arrived in earnest last Monday, according to one MP, but by the end of the week there were more calls for Johnson to stand down.
In futher signs of unhappiness, the officers of a Conservative association in a safe Tory seat in the West Midlands voted unanimously to withdraw its support from Boris Johnson on Thursday night.
Simon Ward, of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Conservative Association, said "the culture starts at the top".
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