Boris Johnson and his officials “broke lockdown laws” over Downing Street parties, according to Conservative former Prime Minister Sir John Major.
He criticized the administration of thinking it “need not obey the rules” adding, “Outright lies breed contempt.”
Sir John’s remarks came as the Metropolitan Police continue to examine 12 meetings.
Mr. Johnson, who is under pressure to resign, stated that he is looking forward to the process being concluded. That would be “the time to say something” on the topic, the Prime Minister said as he fielded questions at a Nato meeting in Brussels.
Downing Street declined to comment on the specifics of Sir John’s criticism, stating only that “People are free to give their opinions.”
The Met is reconsidering its earlier decision not to investigate a Christmas quiz in No 10 in 2020, following the publication of an image of Mr Johnson with three aides dressed in tinsel and Santa hats beside a bottle of sparkling champagne in the Mirror.
On Wednesday, it also stated that it was contacting more than 50 people as part of its ongoing investigation into lockdown parties.
Mr Johnson, who has been identified as having attended three events, and his wife Carrie are among those who are anticipated to be contacted. Downing Street, on the other hand, stated that the prime minister had not yet been approached and that it would not discuss other persons.
The Met stated that anyone who emailed would not necessarily have to pay a fine, and that this would “normally” happen when police felt laws had been broken without fair justification.
Sir John, on the other hand, stated in a speech to the Institute for Government think tank: “At No 10, the prime minister and officials broke lockdown laws. “
Embarrassing justifications were devised. The public was urged to believe the unbelievable on a daily basis. Ministers were dispatched to defend the indefensible, therefore making themselves appear naïve or ignorant.”
“The prime minister and our present government not only challenge the law, but also seem to believe that they, and they alone, need not obey the rules, traditions, conventions – call them what you will – of public life. ” said Sir John, who served from 1990 to 1997. The allegation that the government has one law and everyone else has another is politically poisonous – and it has hit home.”
Sir John, who has previously chastised Mr Johnson over his Brexit handling and described the government’s treatment of the House of Commons as “politically corrupt” said: “When ministers respond to legitimate questions with pre-prepared sound bites, or half-truths, or misdirection, or wild exaggeration, then respect for government and politics dies a little more.”
He recommended the prime minister to appoint a “fully independent” protector of political ethics, as well as new legislation to ban political donations from people, corporations, and labor organizations.
54 f Conservative MPs send letters of no confidence in the prime minister, which will trigger a vote by all Tory MPs, with Mr Johnson being dismissed if he loses.
“This damning criticism should act as a wake-up call to every Conservative MP who is sitting on their hands while Boris Johnson trashes the values that underpin our democracy,” said Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey.
Sue Gray, the senior civil servant investigating the gatherings, reported her findings to the Met, which launched an inquiry.