Iain Dale: PM has 'big challenge' winning back trust of people who voted for him in 2019

25 May 2022, 21:11 | Updated: 25 May 2022, 22:38

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Iain Dale said Boris Johnson has a "big, big challenge" to regain the trust of many people who voted for him in the last general election following the fallout over Partygate.

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Sue Gray finally published her report into parties in No 10 and Whitehall on Wednesday, however the Prime Minister looks set to survive.

Iain pointed out that "I'm not sure there was anything in the Sue Gray report that really changed the dial".

READ MORE: 'Spineless, cowardly Tories' blasted by Streeting for keeping PM in No10 after Partygate

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

But he added: "I think Boris Johnson has been really damaged by this whole episode, I'm not going to pretend I don't.

“He's lost the trust of a lot of people who did put their trust in him in 2019 and it's very difficult once you've lost trust in somebody, it's quite difficult to really get it back and I think that's going to be a big, big challenge for Boris Johnson over the next six months or so."

He also criticised the Prime Minister's response to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer's grilling during Prime Minister's Questions.

He said: "When you saw Boris Johnson stand up in the House of Commons today, he was quite contrite, he was a bit stumbling at times I thought and I thought he struck the right tone.

"Then Keir Starmer got up and made all sorts of accusations against Boris Johnson and for the second or third time I thought Boris Johnson reacted really inappropriately.

"Lots of the old bluster, whereas what I thought what he should have done throughout the whole statement was just kept his cool, kept apologising and in the end he would have got through it, but he didn't do that with Keir Starmer and I thought that really didn't work."

Iain singled out one element of the report that he found particularly upsetting, saying: "One of things that she did say though that I don't think we knew is this: 'I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment to security and cleaning staff and this was unacceptable'.

"Well too damn right it was, anybody, whether they're in No 10 Downing Street or any other workplace, that ridicules, is rude to junior members of staff, that says a lot about the working environment.

"One of things that is made clear in this report is that too few people at the top of the tree, we're talking about the Prime Minister and the Permanent Secretary at the very least, probably others, they have to bear responsibility for the way that their staff react."