Keir Starmer calls on Prime Minister to resign after Sue Gray report is published: “Boris Johnson must go”

"You can’t be a lawmaker and a lawbreaker"

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after Sue Gray’s report into rule-breaking lockdown parties at Downing Street was published today (May 25).

Gray’s long-awaited 37-page report, which includes nine photographs featuring Johnson at parties at No. 10, was published this morning and can be read in full here.

In a tweet posted after the publication of the report, Starmer demanded that Johnson resign, saying: “The door of 10 Downing Street is one of the great symbols of British democracy. A democracy which relies on the principles of honesty and integrity. Its current inhabitant has failed to uphold these principles. Boris Johnson must go.”

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“You can’t be a lawmaker and a lawbreaker,” he added in a tweet alongside video footage of him speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament today. “It’s time for Tory MPs to tell Boris Johnson that this has gone on too long. Only then will dignity be restored in Downing Street.”

Addressing Parliament at PMQs, Johnson said that he “takes full responsibility for everything that happened on my watch” and that proposals for “change and reform” of Downing Street are being implemented.

“It is clear from what Sue Gray had to say that some of these gatherings went on for far longer than was necessary and they clearly fell in breach of the rules,” he told MPs, before saying that he had “no knowledge” of proceedings until the report as “I simply wasn’t there”.

In response to Johnson’s statement, Starmer said that Gray’s report “lays bare the rot that under this prime minister has spread in Number 10, and it provides definitive proof of how those within the building treated the sacrifices of the British people with utter contempt”.

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At PMQs, Starmer also accused Johnson of lying about bringing in a windfall tax, which the Prime Minister had previously ruled out. “He ordered all his MPs to vote against it last week, and now, surprise surprise, he’s backing it,” Starmer said.

Gray’s report said: “Whatever the initial intent, what took place at many of these gatherings and the way in which they developed was not in line with COVID guidance at the time.

“Even allowing for the extraordinary pressures officials and advisers were under, the factual findings of this report illustrate some attitudes and behaviours inconsistent with that guidance.”

Gray concluded in her report that “a number of these gatherings should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did”, and said that “there
is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed
immediately across Government”.

Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer CREDIT: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The UK nightclub industry have also responded to the publication of the report, with Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Assocation (NTIA), saying that the government “have been exposed for their actions”.

“It seems somewhat surreal that, in the midst of a cost inflation crisis, and following two years of restrictions and lockdowns, the very Government that implemented these trading conditions have been exposed for their actions within the report submitted by Sue Gray,” he said. “It goes without saying that trust and public confidence has been lost.

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