Boris Johnson pictured with bubbly and tinsel at No 10 Christmas quiz
Independent

The new Commons leader has been slammed for claiming people in the “real world” don’t care about Partygate.

Mark Spencer, the newly-appointed Commons leader, told BBC Radio Nottingham that “when you get out into the real world and you talk to real people” they have told him “what really matters” is the cost of their energy bills, the NHS backlog, and the economy.

The Sherwood MP, who described his new role as a “cool job”, added: "It's fair to say Downing Street didn't get everything right but let's focus on the real world here."

Spencer, who is jokingly referred to as the “big farmer” by the prime minister, succeeds Common leader Jacob Rees-Mogg who has been made minister for Brexit opportunities in the mini reshuffle.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

But people are not impressed with his comment about the “real world”.

Piers Morgan referred to Spencer as an “arrogant out-of-touch p****” while others pointed out the sacrifices made by millions – who most certainly live in the “real world” – over the last two years.

Spencer’s comments follow the Met Police yesterday giving an update on their Partygate investigation, which has been dubbed Operation Hillman.

The police said they will be sending “formal questionnaires” to more than 50 people in relation to eight dates as part of their investigation into potential lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street and Whitehall.

Detectives are analysing 500 documents and 300 images as part of the probe, including a snap published by The Mirror of the prime minister with a bottle of bubbly during a “virtual” Christmas quiz in 2020.

According to former aide Dominic Cummings however, there are “waaaaaay better pics than that”.

Spencer was formerly the chief whip before bagging his new job.

He played a leading role in trying to get Tory MPs to support a shake-up of Commons sleaze rules in an attempt to spare Owen Paterson from being suspended, incurring their wrath when the controversial plan was subsequently abandoned.

Spencer also failed to prevent a revolt by 100 Tories over Covid rules and faced claims – which he has denied – that he told MP Nusrat Ghani she lost her ministerial role because her Muslim faith made people feel “uncomfortable”.

It was announced yesterday that Boris Johnson’s ethics chief, Lord Geidt, will investigate the Islamophobia claims.

His new role will still see him play a major part in liaising between Tory backbenchers and No 10.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)