South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has hit out at local Tory MPs David Mundell, Alister Jack and John Lamont and Tory MSPs for remaining silent in the face of allegations of Downing Street parties taking place during lockdown.

On Monday, ITV published a leaked email from Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting staff to “socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden” on 20 May 2020 – when lockdown rules in England banned large outdoor gatherings.

The invitation encouraged people to “bring your own booze” and “make the most of the lovely weather”. During Prime Ministers Questions today, Boris Johnston admitted he attended – despite previously saying he had not attended parties during lockdown.

Colin Smyth said: “Despite widespread, and justified, public anger at the reports of these parties, it is shameful that local Tory MPs and MSPs have taken a vow of silence. Despite weeks of coverage of Downing Street parties during lockdown, local Tory MPs and MSPs have failed to utter one word of criticism of their leader. They are a complete disgrace.

“The idea that while people were dying in hospital from this terrible virus and our amazing NHS was battling with untold horrors trying to keep them alive, the Tories were holding parties attended by the Prime Minister is completely disgusting, as is the failure of local Tory politicians to condemn these actions.

“The repeated, flagrant breaches of the rules have badly undermined public trust at a time when it has never been more critical. It threatens the Government’s ability to respond to the pandemic we are still battling and insults the public and the sacrifices they have made.

“Boris Johnson’s contempt for the rule of law, and the failure of local Tory MPs and MSPs to condemn his actions, has driven discontent. It is one rule for them, and one rule for people in our area and if the Prime Minister had a shred of integrity he would do the decent thing and resign now.

“I’m calling on MPs David Mundell, Alister Jack and John Lamont ,and all south Scotland’s Tory MSPs, to have the guts to stand up for their constituents and condemn these actions without delay.”

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