UPDATED STATEMENT ON PRIME MINISTER'S LEADERSHIP
Over the past two years, we have all had to make immense sacrifices, and I comprehend the anger which many people understandably feel. Several hundred constituents have written to me expressing their concerns about the Prime Minister’s leadership, and the situation has continued to evolve quickly. You may also be aware that there are ongoing investigations being carried out by the Metropolitan Police, on which I am unable to comment.
Shortly after the initial revelations came out in early January, I released a statement on my website outlining why despite widespread anger about perceived double-standards, I continued to support the Prime Minister.
I noticed, reinforced by personal conversations I had with the Prime Minister over the last year, a seriousness of purpose that has yet to communicate itself to the public, it being drowned out by the focus on an image that reflects decades of an approach to politics that gave this remarkable politician the skillset to enable our country and my party to escape the seemingly impossible trap set by the result of the 2017 election following the 2016 Referendum.
Errors were made, but on the whole the substance of work for this Parliament, particularly around the Levelling Up agenda, defining values of Global Britain and the need to make the right economic judgements in a time of emergency unprecedented in my time of political and public service, still provide the opportunity for Conservatives to have been very proud to have been part of it. That opportunity was created by Boris Johnson. Further to this, his strategic judgements during the last two years on the response to the pandemic now look to be broadly correct.
The pain and burden the British people have endured and his near death from covid-19 appear to me to have produced a capacity for humility and seriousness in our Prime Minister, that combined with his other remarkable strengths and inevitably some balancing weaknesses leads me to a balanced judgement strongly in his support. Due to the effective management of the pandemic and vaccine rollout, we are one of the first nations in the world to have been able to remove almost all restrictions and begin to deal with coronavirus as an endemic issue.
As I have said publicly, notably in a recent BBC Radio Four interview, some sensible perspective is required. The media, manipulated by the flow of inside information designed to damage from a former employee, have danced to the tune of the miscreant, not in the wider interest of the country, where the direction and momentum of this government should be protected, not exploded in a fit of overblown moral outrage.
The report carried out by Sue Gray has now been released but provides information on things we were already aware and so has not changed my position in supporting the Prime Minister. The accusations made, even if sustained to some degree fail to be of the order to remove the Prime Minister, hence why he continues to command my support.
I understand that you may disagree with my position above and have noted your concerns, but I hope to have clearly outlined my position on this matter.
I will continue to follow this situation closely and will in future publish updates on this website.