Fury as Angela Rayner demands Boris quit – after Blair quizzed by police THREE times as PM
Cressida Dick confirms investigation into Downing Street parties
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The party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has led the charge from the Opposition in declaring outrage at claims of illegal gatherings in No10. She fronted a Commons debate on the investigation launched by Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick yesterday, saying it was “disgraceful” Downing Street was being looked at.
She claimed the investigation meant it was impossible for Mr Johnson to carry on serving in the top job.
Sir Keir Starmer also seized on the development, describing it as “the worst possible outcome” for the Prime Minister.
But allies of the Conservative Party leader have attacked Labour for double standards by demanding Mr Johnson stand down after Mr Blair was embroiled in his own scandal while in No10.
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant told Express.co.uk: “What hypocrisy. Labour did not take the view that Tony Blair should resign when he was interviewed for alleged corruption.
“This is total opportunism.
“Historians will look back at this bizarre period and wonder how a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom might be brought down by a slice of birthday cake.”
In July 2007 Mr Blair was quizzed three times by officers in what became known as the “cash for honours” scandal.
The police probe into the alleged sale of peerages to Labour party donors.
On that occasion, the Crown Prosecution Service determined there was insufficient evidence against any suspect to secure a conviction in court.
While Dame Cressida announced an investigation into allegations of Covid rule-breaks in Whitehall yesterday, Mr Johnson has not been interviewed by Scotland Yard and it is not known if he is a suspect in their inquiry.
Unwilling to wait for the outcome of the probe, Ms Rayner said yesterday: “Boris Johnson’s Downing Street is under police investigation, how on earth can he think he can stay on as Prime Minister?
“Millions of people are struggling to pay the bills, but Boris Johnson and his government are too wrapped up in scandal to do anything about it. Disgraceful.”
Sir Keir added: “Police have decided that it’s serious enough and flagrant enough for them to investigate.
“It’s the worst possible outcome for the Prime Minister and frankly some of his Cabinet now need to look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why they’re still supporting this Prime Minister.”
Mr Johnson yesterday said he welcomed Scotland Yard’s investigation and hoped officers would “help to draw a line under matters”.
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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that “anyone asked to will co-operate fully” with any requests from the police and said it was “fair to say that he does not” believe he broke the law.
Tory MPs are also demanding the Met Police now launch an investigation into allegations Sir Keir broke lockdown rules after pictures emerged of him drinking a beer with colleagues in a constituency office in May 2021.
At the time, socialising indoors with people from another household was banned apart from for work purposes.
David Morris, Tory MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, told the Commons yesterday there was “no difference” between what Mr Johnson and Sir Keir had been accused of.
Alexander Stafford, Tory MP for Rother Valley, added: “Those in glass houses should not throw beer bottles.”
Sir Keir continues to insist no rules were broken as he was attending a work meeting ahead of the local elections.
Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Bridget Philipson, this morning defended her party leader.
She told Sky News: “It’s just ridiculous to compare the two.
“I can tell you what – if Keir Starmer were Prime Minister, he wouldn’t have been holding boozy parties in the No10 garden during lockdown.
“That is not the kind of person that he is.
“He would have been absolutely focused on making sure our country got through it, not thinking that somehow he was above the law.
“He’s the former director of public prosecutions. He takes it incredibly seriously.”
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