An MP has resigned from his role in the government over the partygate, citing the “toxic culture” in Downing Street which has created a “deep mistrust” of Boris Johnson’s administration.
Paul Holmes, who represents Eastleigh, announced in a statement on Friday he had quit his role as Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office.
The Tory politician said he was “shocked and angered” by revelations about rule-breaking in Whitehall and Downing Street, which led to more than 120 fixed penalty notices being dished out, including to the prime minister and Rishi Sunak.
Revelations this week, firstly in a leaked image from inside Downing Street at a party in November 2021, and then with the Sue Gray report’s publication, highlighted the extent of rule-breaking, and intensified calls for Boris Johnson to quit.
The PM has resisted those calls and allies have rallied around, despite having to apologise to cleaners inside Number 10 who were reportedly mistreated.
19 MPs have reportedly called for the PM to resign, while almost 30 have criticised him openly, according to Sky News.
Writing to his constituents, Holmes said “revelations from the Sue Gray report that staff and cleaners were not treated properly is both disappointing and unacceptable, it is right that the Prime Minister apologised to staff.”
He added the report “clearly showed a culture in Number 10 that was distasteful”, and “a deep mistrust” of the government and Tories has been created as a result.
He said it was “distressing” his constancy work had been “tarnished by the toxic culture that seemed to have permeated Number 10”.
“That is why I have now resigned from my governmental responsibilities as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office.”