UPDATED: Now with response from Tom Randall
Gedling Borough Council’s deputy leader has written to local MP Tom Randall after it was revealed Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now been fined by the Metropolitan Police for attending parties at Number 10 during lockdown.
Downing Street confirmed yesterday (12) that both Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak had been issued fixed penalty notices for breaking lockdown laws by attending parties while nationwide restrictions were in place.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for the pair to resign, as has the Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice group.
Following the arrests, Mr Payne shared a letter on social media he had written last night in the hope of getting a reaction from the Gedling MP.
Cllr Payne wrote: “At least 419 people in Gedling borough have died from covid. We would have lost many more loved ones but for people doing the right thing by others and following the rules.
“Our residents followed the Government’s rules to keep themselves, their loved ones and their neighbours safe.
“Meanwhile, Boris Johnson was breaking the rules he made by attending lockdown parties.”
Payne went on to call for the PM’s resignation and also get the views of Mr Randall.
“Given you also repeatedly called on people to follow your Government’s rules, will you now be calling on the Prime Minister and Chancellor to resign?” he wrote.
The Gedling MP this afternoon responded to the calls from Cllr Payne and said he accepted the Prime Minister’s explanation that there was no deliberate attempt to break the rules.
Mr Randall told Gedling Eye: “On June 19, 2020, the Prime Minister was working in the Cabinet Room – his usual place of work within Number 10 – when colleagues in the building that he had been working closely with on the UK’s pandemic response entered the room to wish him Happy Birthday. This lasted for less than ten minutes and had it been an encounter to discuss a work matter then I do not believe we would be debating it.
“However, the Metropolitan Police has determined that this was a breach of the rules. I respect the Metropolitan Police’s decision as do the Prime Minister and Chancellor who have both apologised and paid their fines.
“Given the nature of this event, I accept the Prime Minister’s explanation that there was no deliberate attempt to break any rules. That said, this incident has taken place against a wider, concerning background of events that the Metropolitan Police and Sue Gray continue to investigate.
“I look forward to the swift conclusion of these investigations.”