Norfolk Tory MP calls Boris Johnson's position 'very questionable'

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker questioned prime minister Boris Johnson over the Sue Gray report. 

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker questioned prime minister Boris Johnson over the Sue Gray report. - Credit: Parliament TV

The 'partygate' scandal has made prime minister Boris Johnson's position "questionable", North Norfolk's MP has said. 

Duncan Baker was one of few Tories who asked critical questions of the PM when he responded to Sue Gray's initial report into parties at Number 10 Downing Street when such gatherings were illegal due to the coronavirus lockdowns. 

As revealed this week, the Metropolitan Police are carrying out a criminal investigation into 12 of the 16 gatherings outlined in Ms Gray's report. 

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner speaking during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Common

Boris Johnson was grilled over Sue Gray initial report in the House of Commons. - Credit: PA

Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, Mr Baker said: "North Norfolk consistently had some of the lowest levels of infection in the country. We followed the rules.

"So many of my constituents have been incensed. The damage this is doing to the government is enormous. It is about integrity and trust."

Mr Baker asked Mr Johnson to commit to publishing the full Sue Gray report "swiftly" after it was made available, but the prime minister would not make that commitment.

But the prime minister relented on Monday evening and said the full report would be published. 

A police officer stands at the door of the Prime Minister's official residence in Downing Street, We

The Met police are investigating a number of gatherings at No 10 Downing Street that took place during lockdown. - Credit: PA

Speculation has been mounting over whether enough letters from Tory MPs had been sent to the Conservatives' 1922 committee to trigger a vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson - 54 are required. 

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Mr Baker would not reveal whether he had sent a letter, but said: "We're into a position where there has been such a significant amount of trust that has been eroded and that it makes his position very questionable. 

"There are a great number of questions to answer, and while they hang over us his tenure is questionable. I don't think there's any MP who could say that wasn't the case."

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

Mr Baker said the affair would act like a millstone around the government's neck until everything was out in the open. 

He said: "The longer the police investigation continues and we only have a partial report, all that is doing is delaying the full picture of who was doing what when, and that is causing more anger and upset. 

"The situation that we're in continues to dominate the headlines and it obstructs us from what we should be doing, which is governing the country.

"I find that very disappointing, and it's not what I expected to be dealing with when I became the MP for North Norfolk."