Partygate: Hitchin and Harpenden MP says Tories must win back public trust

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami.

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami. - Credit: Karyn Haddon

The Conservative government needs to do everything in its power to rebuild the public's trust following the 'Partygate' scandal, says Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami.

But he does not believe senior politicians - including the Prime Minister and Chancellor - should quit after being fined for breaching Covid lockdown restrictions.

We asked him whether he would be continuing to give his full support to the PM, and if he thought the fact two senior members of government have been found to have breached lockdown restrictions is in blatant contempt of the actions of law-abiding citizens who missed saying goodbye to their loved ones at this time?

We also questioned him on whether he would you support a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister at this time, and if not was he worried that this would be seen as approval for the actions of Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak?

Mr Afolami told this newspaper: “I am extremely disappointed by what happened with the parties at Downing Street during the Covid lockdown period, as many of my constituents are. How could anyone not be? I have spoken to the Prime Minister about them and conveyed my disappointment to him very directly.  It is clear that those who set the rules should have followed them.

"However, the question is whether right now is the right time to be talking about the future of the Prime Minister and Chancellor? I do not believe that it is. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, severely impacting on energy prices and wider inflation which is really impacting living standards, Britain needs strong leadership and the West needs to be united more than ever. 

"So what next? The Prime Minister and Chancellor should take their sanctions like any other citizen, with no complaints, and they and the wider Conservative Party needs to try and win back the trust we have lost as a result of this. I know that that trust will take a lot of rebuilding and that people are angry.

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"I cannot say whether such an effort will be successful; but we owe it to the public to do all we can to rebuild that trust.”