Citizenship | PSHE

Resignation calls grow after damning report

Will it make any lasting difference? Outrage and shock fill the newspapers this morning after Sue Gray published her report yesterday. But many believe little will really change.  It was the moment everyone had been waiting for. After nearly six months of seemingly endless delay, senior civil servant Sue Gray's full report into lockdown breaking parties at Number 10 Downing Street finally landed on the desk of the British prime minister. The response was immediate. “Boris Johnson’s Downing Street is rotten from the very top,” said deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.  “I accept full responsibility for my failings,” Johnson replied in a statement to MPs. “We have learned our lesson.”  Many believe the contents of the report will determine his fate. Here are the key findings:  1. Dozens of people, including Boris Johnson, attended 16 different events that breached Covid-19 regulations.  2. The events “should not have been allowed to happen”.  3. A top aide boasted “we seem to have got away with” a garden party at Number 10 Downing Street.  4. Senior politicians and civil servants fell short of the standards of behaviour expected at the heart of government.  5. Senior leaders must be held responsible for the culture that allowed the parties to take place. 6. Security and cleaning staff were treated with an “unacceptable” lack of respect.  7. Progress is being made to change the management of Downing Street and the Cabinet Office after concerns were raised in an initial report.  The losers are obvious. Boris Johnson’s reputation has been “permanently damaged”, wrote one journalist yesterday. And he could still face a vote of no confidence. The head of the civil service, Simon Case, also faced fierce criticism yesterday.  But many believe winners have emerged from the investigation too. Few had heard of Sue Gray before last December. Now, she is a household name, renowned for her diligence and meticulous approach. Will it make any lasting difference? Gray day Yes: Johnson is under immense pressure. The findings may encourage more of his MPs to call for a vote of no confidence. Meanwhile, steps are already being taken to change how Downing Street is run.  No: Most people made up their minds about the lockdown parties months ago. Much of the anger has already passed. And Boris Johnson is clear: he will not resign.  Or… The report provides clear details about the parties: who organised them and when. But it does not discuss a fundamental issue: the focus of power in one place, and the culture allowed to thrive there.       KeywordsMPs - Members of Parliament. MPs are elected to represent people in 650 different geographical areas. 

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