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Boris Johnson needs to go

Angela Rayner is the Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and deputy leader of the U.K. Labour Party.

I believe that across Britain people play by the rules. They want to be in a secure job, see a prosperous future for their family and be treated with respect by their government. But instead, we have this circus of a scandal-riddled government, led by a man that sees the law as merely a suggestion. They have no answers to soaring prices and bills hurting ordinary families, they’re out of ideas for growing our economy, and they can’t even tell us the truth without a two-month-long inquiry and police investigation. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was at a party. A party that broke the rules he set. The prime minister then lied about it. The prime minister needs to resign. It really is as simple as that.

We don’t need the Sue Gray report to know that Boris Johnson needs to go. Sue Gray will simply lay out the facts of what seems be a very clear culture of total disregard for propriety and rules in Downing Street — the culture comes only from the person in charge. 

Soon we will be able to read Gray’s finding for ourselves, but we did not need to see the government so distracted in a time when they need to act. All we needed was for the man at the top of British politics to tell the truth, or for the Conservative Party to do the right thing when he refused.  

It’s not just the prime minister playing the British people for fools. The rest of the Cabinet have spent weeks defending the indefensible when in reality, like the rest of us, they could see through the lies and deceit.

It’s not good enough for them to now say, “not me pal.” They had the chance to stand up for decency in public life. Instead, they appeared on the television day after day, more concerned with trying to save their jobs than doing the right thing. But the British people aren’t fools, and they won’t forget or forgive ministers who stood by as the prime minister partied and the rest of us followed the rules. 

A key principle of British justice and equality is that no one is above the law. The queen did not think she was, and the prime minister certainly isn’t. In fact, those of us that make the rules, that walked through the lobbies and voted for the rules, should be held to the highest standard. 

It feels almost beyond belief that the Metropolitan Police are now investigating evidence of “the most serious and flagrant type of breach” in Downing Street itself. What a reflection on the man who holds the very highest office in our country. Yet still he feels he can hang on? A complete disgrace.

Johnson wants to see all politicians dragged into the gutter from which he operates and tarred with the same brush. It actually serves him to see distrust in politicians spread. But so many of us, from every shade of politics, did our very best to serve our communities throughout this pandemic. Politics can be a force for good, but every day that Johnson stays in his job, he degrades the office he holds and fails this country.

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