'You can't be lawmaker and lawbreaker': Keir tells Boris 'game is up' after Gray report

25 May 2022, 13:04 | Updated: 25 May 2022, 13:58

Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer clashed at PMQs after Sue Gray's report came out
Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer clashed at PMQs after Sue Gray's report came out. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The game is up for Boris Johnson after Sue Gray's damning report, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Labour leader tore shreds off the Prime Minister as he compared their leadership styles in the House of Commons.

And as he called on Mr Johnson to go, he said: "The game is up.

"You cannot be a lawmaker and a lawbreaker and it's time to pack his bags.

"Only then can the Government function again.

"Only then can the rot be carved out, only then can we restore the dignity of that great office and the democracy that it represents."

Read more: Boris sorry after 'catalogue of criminality' exposed in Sue Gray report

In a charged Commons session, Sir Keir said Mr Johnson had set the bar for standards lower than a "snake's belly".

Ms Gray said the events "should not have been allowed to happen" and said: "The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture."

Responding to Sir Keir, Mr Johnson said: "He, throughout the pandemic, was not leading many thousands of people in the fight against coronavirus.

Sir Keir laid into Boris Johnson over Partygate
Sir Keir laid into Boris Johnson over Partygate. Picture: Alamy

"He was sniping from the sidelines, and veering from one position to the next, and today he has done it again.

"Week after week he could’ve come to this House and talked about the economy, about Ukraine, about the cost of living – no, time after time he chose to focus on this issue.

Read more: The nine damning pictures from Sue Gray's final Partygate report

"He could've shown some common sense and recognised working very hard together, day in day out, that it can be difficult to draw the boundary between work and socialising."

The Prime Minister also pointed to Durham Constabulary's investigation into Sir Keir over his beer and curry, which earlier Sir Keir reiterated he believed was in the rules - and has insisted he will resign over if fined by police.

Mr Johnson branded the opposition leader "Sir Beer Korma", to derision from Labour MPs.

Boris Johnson is fighting for his job after the Gray report
Boris Johnson is fighting for his job after the Gray report. Picture: Alamy

Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster leader, told the Commons "the report is damning", and said: "The Prime Minister, in the words of the report, must bear responsibility for the culture. A fish rots from the head."

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said: "The Prime Minister says he's sorry, but he's only sorry he got caught."

He added: "Can the Prime Minister look the British people in the eye and name one person just one person, he cares about more than himself?"

Mr Johnson replied: "I can tell him that there are people in Number 10 Downing Street including me who cared passionately about making sure that we had the PPE that we needed, we had the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe and that we protected this country from Covid and that is what people were doing."

Read more: Sick, fights and wine up the wall: Key points from Sue Gray's damning Partygate report

Mr Johnson again apologised over Partygate after senior civil servant Ms Gray finally released her report into lockdown-busing parties in the heart of Government.

They included photos of Mr Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and civil servant Simon Case, the cabinet secretary.

Among the damning findings in Ms Gray's report was criticism over "serious failings" that allowed the parties to take break out and a culture of "excessive drinking".

Read more: Read it in full: Sue Gray's much-anticipated final Partygate report

Some staff "wanted to raise concerns about behaviours they witnessed at work but at times felt unable to do so", Ms Gray found.

A set of new images were also put out with her report.

That includes one of Mr Johnson in the Cabinet Room in Downing Street during a birthday party in June 2020, and a November 2020 leaving do for Lee Cain, the former communications director, where he is seen holding up a glass and raising it in a toast.