The office of Andrew Jones MP has received ‘several hundred’ items of correspondence regarding Boris Johnson.
Andrew Jones MP has also confirmed that he didn’t personally attend any drinks parties at 10 Downing Street.
This is what Andrew Jones MP has to say on the matter, and what he has written back to those who contacted him with.
A copy of the letter that Andrew Jones MP has sent to constituents regarding Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding the issues surrounding ‘gatherings’ at Number 10. As you may appreciate, I have received a large amount of correspondence about this and I wanted to reply promptly so please excuse the slightly impersonal nature of the reply.
I was disappointed – an understatement – to hear about what appears to be another gathering at Downing Street that took place when the rest of the country were living under coronavirus restrictions.
In my previous correspondence with constituents about Dominic Cummings and Owen Patterson I have explained that I was unable to give my support to the Prime Minister and the government when the actions were clearly below an acceptable standard.
There is no blank cheque from me to Boris Johnson or anyone else.
I followed coronavirus restrictions. I take the maxim ‘lawmakers can’t be law breakers’ seriously. Like most I could not see my family, I could not meet with colleagues and I most certainly could not socialise with friends. My office team were all working from home and there was no mixing between us at all during work, let alone after work with alcohol. The government asked a lot of us all and most of us responded accordingly.
It is therefore frustrating to have been put in a position of waiting for the Prime Minister to account for exactly what occurred in Number 10.
There are two issues – the allegations made before Christmas and the most recent claims about a party attended by the Prime Minister on 20 May 2020 – the infamous ‘bring your own booze’ event.
I can see why there needs to be an investigation into allegations about gatherings and parties that occurred in the senior reaches of government and I think it is reasonable to await the outcome of that. But given the urgency required, I want to see swifter progress.
In respect of the 20 May allegation what I can’t understand is why it took so long and was so difficult to answer the direct question: “Were you at an event on such-and-such a date?”.
We now have a statement from the Prime Minister about the event in question and the investigation into other party allegations continues. You may have seen that in Parliament that I pressed for that investigation to be concluded quickly.
The statement from the Prime Minister about the 20 May gathering is clear. He attended the event with 30 or so members of staff. He believes that since 10 Downing Street is a workplace that this was a work meeting and he attended for 25 minutes to thank staff for their work during the pandemic.
His apology was necessary and welcome, but I do not think this closes the matter. There are many more questions, some as a consequence of his statement. I am sure you don’t need me to rehearse these in this correspondence.
My discussions with party organisers (the whips) and the Chair of the government’s backbench committee (the 1922, as it is called) are and will remain confidential in the same way that my correspondence with constituents is confidential. However I can assure you that those discussions are happening in respect of the most recent revelations and the Prime Minister’s statement last week.
In respect of the investigation announced by the Prime Minister in December, if this finds wrongdoing, and the police find that these actions were criminal, then consequences must flow from that.
Thank you again for contacting me about this matter.