Sue Gray report: Tory aide Paul Holmes resigns from role after being left ‘shocked and angered’ by Partygate

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The MP for Eastleigh has resigned as a ministerial aide after stating that Boris Johnson and the Tories have created “deep mistrust” in the party

Tory MP Paul Holmes has resigned as a ministerial aide over the Sue Gray Partygate report.

The MP for Eastleigh told of his decision to quit as an aide in a post online, saying he was “shocked and angered” by the behaviour described in Ms Gray’s report, which was released earlier this week.

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Pressure has been placed on Boris Johnson to resign after Ms Gray’s finding showed that “senior leadership” should “bear responsibility” for cultivating a culture of drinking within Downing Street that lead to the illegal gatherings being held.

However, the Prime Minister has stood firm in his position, adding: “I overwhelmingly feel it is my job to get on and deliver.”

Following a Met Police investigation, 126 fixed-penalty notices were issued in relation to the Partygate gatherings, with Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak among the recipients.

MP Paul Holmes has resigned as a ministerial aide after being “shocked and angered” by the behavior described in Sue Gray’s Partygate report. (Credit: Getty Images)) MP Paul Holmes has resigned as a ministerial aide after being “shocked and angered” by the behavior described in Sue Gray’s Partygate report. (Credit: Getty Images))
MP Paul Holmes has resigned as a ministerial aide after being “shocked and angered” by the behavior described in Sue Gray’s Partygate report. (Credit: Getty Images)) | Getty Images

What did Paul Holmes say about resigning?

In a statement posted on his website, Mr Holmes confirmed that he was stepping down as a ministerial aide after being “shocked and angered” by the “toxic culture” laid bare in Ms Gray’s report.

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The long-awaited report was published on Wednesday 25 May and detailed gatherings in which staff stayed in the Downing Street offices until 4am, with two members of staff being involved in an “altercation” at one gathering, while another was sick.

There were also reports of staff being rude and disrespectful towards cleaning and security staff while the illegal gatherings were ongoing.

He said: “As I have always made clear I, like most of you, was shocked and angered by the revelations when so many people across Eastleigh followed the rules and sacrificed many things in the need to stop the spread of the virus.

“It is distressing to me that this work on your behalf has been tarnished by the toxic culture that seemed to have permeated Number 10.

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“Over the last few weeks this distress has led me to conclude that I want to continue to focus solely on my efforts in being your Member of Parliament and the campaigns that are important to you. That is why I have now resigned from my governmental responsibilities as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office.”

The Eastleigh MP will continue with his constituency role.

What has Boris Johnson said about the resignation?

The Prime Minister was questioned about the support within his party while visiting fiber cable laying trainees in Stockton-on-Tees.

When asked, he said: “Yes, but I think I gave some pretty vintage and exhaustive answers on all that subject the other day in the House of Commons and then in a subsequent press conference.”

Cracks have began to appear in the party, with at least 20 Tory MPs publically calling on the Prime Minister to resign since the beginning of the scandal.

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There have been reports of letters of no confidence being sent to the 1922 committee - Mr Johnson will face a leadership contest if the committee receives 54 letters of no confidence, however the number of letters received has not been disclosed.

Mr Johnson appeared to further deflect from the scandal when asked about why he allowed such behaviour to happening within Downing Street and Whitehall.

He said: “If you look at the answers in the House of Commons over more than two hours, I think you’ll be able to see I answered that very, very extensively.”

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