'Downing St behaviour is impossible to justify, and I welcome PM's reform pledge'

Anthony Browne - South Cambs MP. Picture: Stephen Frost

Anthony Browne, South Cambs MP. - Credit: Stephen Frost

The MP for South Cambridgeshire has given his reaction after Boris Johnson said “sorry is not enough” in the House of Commons after Sue Gray’s report revealed 12 Downing Street parties will be investigated by police. 

The prime minister addressed the report, which said there had been a "serious failure" of leadership, in the Commons today.

He said: “Firstly, I want to say sorry – and I’m sorry for the things we simply didn’t get right and also sorry for the way this matter has been handled.

“We are making changes now to the way Downing Street and the Cabinet Office run so that we can get on with the job that I was elected to do and the job that this Government was elected to do."

Concluding his statement on the report, Boris Johnson added: “I get it, and I will fix it. I want to say to the people of this country I know what the issue is.”

Anthony Browne told the Crow:  “Sue Gray’s report echoes my own well-covered comments about the cultural problems in Downing Street.

"I agree these events shouldn’t have happened. There was, as the reports states, too little thought given to what was happening across the country. Those who make the rules need to obey the rules.

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“Much of the behaviour is impossible to justify to a public who have had an extremely tough time over the last two years. I am also deeply concerned that staff felt unable to address these concerns to their senior managers. As the report says, we must learn the lessons, and I welcome the first steps at reform announced in the Prime Minister’s statement today. Number 10 has grown in recent years and the Prime Minister is right to reform the way it operates.

“The Prime Minister has again unequivocally apologised today, fully accepted the findings in the report, and said he will cooperate with the ongoing police investigations.”

The Crow has contacted North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald and is yet to receive a response.