Partygate: Treatment of no.10 staff was biggest failure says MP
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The report exposed how some of Boris Johnson’s Tory MPs had been getting drunk and verbally abusing cleaners and security staff during the Covid lockdowns. BBC presenter Charlie Stayt gave the Chief of Staff a grilling on the failures Ms Gray’s report exposed about Mr Johnson’s leadership. Mr Barclay claimed that the most ‘striking failure’ that the report has exposed, was the treatment of cleaners and guards. Mr Johnson has since apologised to the cleaners and security staff and has encouraged other MPs involved to do the same.
Mr Stayt said: “No, I’m going to interrupt you, Mr Barclay, if I may because what Mr Johnson said about him going into those gatherings was he said he was vindicated.
“I’m asking you about, what were the failures, I’m not asking you to repeat what you said about how he feels vindicated.
“The Sue Gray report was specific, said there were failures, what were the failures?”
Mr Barclay told BBC Breakfast: “Well I think probably the most… Striking failure was the treatment of some staff, within Number 10 itself.
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“And I know that was the thing he was probably most shocked about when we looked at the report yesterday…”
Mr Stayt added: “Those were failures of people who worked for the Prime Minister.
“I’m asking, we can get onto the cleaners in just a moment, so far you haven’t said one thing that Boris Johnson failed to do as a leader can you specifically mention that?
Mr Barclay said: ” Well I think the Prime Minister says now, In light of the report of the report that he wishes he had done more in terms of those incidents.”
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Ms Gray’s report stated: “A cleaner who attended the room the next morning noted that there had been red wine spilled on one wall and on a number of boxes of photocopier paper.”
Ms Gray added: “I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff.
“This was unacceptable. I am reassured to see that steps have since been taken to introduce more easily accessible means by which to raise concerns electronically, in person or online, including directly with the Permanent Secretary in No 10.
“I hope that this will truly embed a culture that welcomes and creates opportunities for challenge and speaking up at all levels.”
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Many MPs from either side of the political spectrum have been coming forward to slam the Prime Minister for his behaviour since the scandal broke in November 2021.
A few of his own Conservative MPs have submitted letters of no confidence to the 1922 Committee.
Mr Howlett told Express.co.uk: “From what I could see, obviously there was a lot of very despondent faces and a very little amount of support from the backbenches other than a sombre amount of cheering from the ultra-loyalists, but still I haven’t heard anybody say that as a result of this I am now going to get my pen out and write a further letter to the 1922 Committee.
“I think pretty much, that’s it, the Met Police aren’t going to be re-opening the investigation, so I think things will move on.
“Tomorrow’s headlines are clearly going to be absolutely atrocious for the Prime Minister, which will have a massive in respect to the electorate, but from a parliamentary party point of view, I don’t see there being a critical threshold of enough MPs writing letters to the 1922 Committee to call a vote of no confidence.”
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