Sue Gray’s Partygate report in proportion, says Isle of Wight MP

The ISLANDERS reacted to the publication of Sue Gray’s report on the anti-lockdown rallies at No 10 and Whitehall.

The 12-page report was published today on the government’s website.

Twelve of the lockdown parties included in Sue Gray’s simplified report of rallies held across No 10 and Whitehall are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police, the document suggests.

The senior official described 16 separate gatherings that were included in the scope of her investigation.

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed he would not speak further about the contents of the report while the Met Police investigation continued.

Here’s what some of the Isle of Wight’s key people had to say.

Congressman Bob Seely

Bob Seeley.

Bob Seely says a “sense of proportion” is valuable, after the damning report was released.

He said: “I understand why some people are angry. The PM has already apologized and I hope will learn from it.

“I have received over 300 letters from Islanders. I have answered most and will finish answering all of them this week. Thank you to everyone who has written to me about this.

“Without minimizing this, I think a sense of proportion is valuable.

“Does ‘partygate’ compare to all the work I’ve done to get a better deal from the government for the island? No.

“Does ‘partygate’ compare to 100,000 ‘ghost children’ missing from schools across England? No.

“Does ‘partygate’ compare to events in Ukraine, where tens of thousands of people may be days away from dying in a war?

“As I said, I understand people’s frustration and concerns, I think a sense of proportion is valuable.

“I would much rather see Parliament and the government focus on delivering the priorities that are important to our country and to the island, and that is what I am focused on.”

Richard Quigley

Richard Quigley.

Richard Quigley.

For Labour, IW Councilor Richard Quigley said: “‘Despite the immense pressure Sue Gray has been under and the report is only an update pending the Met Police investigation, the conclusion is clear .

“There was a leadership failure that led to a clear breach of the law.

“The Prime Minister will no doubt offer some contrition to appease his critics within the Conservative Party. He will think he got away with it, just like our own MP Bob Seely after his lockdown barbecue at Seaview.

“The islanders aren’t very interested in parties and cakes, what they are interested in is justice and not feeling like they’ve been played for fools.

“If the Prime Minister and his party can lie about this, what else are they lying about is the question I’ve been asked over and over again.

“If the prime minister was patriotic anyway, he would step down like Bob Seely would, but he won’t either because he’s clearly himself before the country.

“We must now press the government to break the paralysis caused by saving their prime minister’s job, to help the ever-growing number of families choosing between heating and food amid the coronavirus crisis. The cost of living is getting worse and the rise in National Insurance contributions is getting even bigger, putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families.

Nick Stuart

Nick Stuart.

Nick Stuart.

Isle of Wight Liberal Democrat Vice-Chairman Nick Stuart said: “Limited by its mandate and completely sidetracked by a belated police investigation, this report still manages to highlight the blatant disregard for their own rules and regulations.

“Boris I’m sure will spin the words and blame others, but I’ve read the report.

“The lies told by Boris and the brazen approach he has taken leaves Parliament with a choice given its complete lack of morality.

“Remove that incompetent lying title now.”

Vix Lowthion

Vix Lowthion.

Vix Lowthion.

Vix Lowthion, chairman of the Isle of Wight Green Party, said: “Although we will not know the details of the 12 individual events until the Met’s inquiries are complete, these initial findings from Sue Gray’s interim report indicate criminal levels of hypocrisy, unprofessionalism and incompetence.

“The lies, cover-ups and denials made everything worse. While we all followed the rules, the man who made the rules thought he was above the law.

“He took us for fools. Apologies are far from enough.

“Any self-respecting leader would take responsibility and resign, but then he is the worst prime minister this country has ever had.

“He has no shame. If he doesn’t have the decency to leave, then his MPs must force him to leave now for the good of the nation.

“It is now vital that the Met investigation and Sue Gray’s report be completed without further delay or interference. No one is above the law.”

David Poug

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight Conservative Association chairman David Pugh said: ‘Clearly it is of concern that 12 gatherings are currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police, some of which the Prime Minister was present.

“It is disappointing that the Prime Minister has refused to confirm that Sue Gray’s report will subsequently be published in full.

“The public deserves to see all findings, regardless of the police investigation.

“As president of the association, my role is to oversee the organization of the Conservative Party on the Island.

“I recognize and respect that there is a range of opinion on this particular issue (and other issues) among our members. As such, I do not offer an opinion on behalf of the Association.

“I would, however, like to note that I did not vote for Boris Johnson in the 2019 leadership race. I remain of the view that I made the right choice.”

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