The PM is facing renewed calls to resign after ITV News published the pictures and claimed they were taken at the leaving drinks for then-director of communications Lee Cain on November 13th 2020.
The likes of Angela Rayner and Ruth Davidson have called on Johnson to resign once again following the new pictures, and Tories like Steve Baker – who uploaded an NHS poster which was used during the height of the pandemic after the pictures were revealed – have been critical.
However, Grant Shapps gave a bizarre defence of Johnson on Sky News today, and now Mark Harper has taken issue with Tories volunteering to support the ‘indefensible’ Johnson.
Harper, who has been Member of Parliament for Forest of Dean since 2005 and first called for Johnson to resign in April, hit out at his colleagues.
Speaking on the BBC’s Politics Live, he said: “Johnson broke the rules. I understand there’s at least one person from that event who has been fined for attending, so it was an unlawful gathering. The prime minister, however long he was at it, should have sent everyone home.
“It’s not just the events, it’s the fact that he’s not been straight forward about it.”
Mark Harper slammed the 'ridiculous' arguments being made by some of his colleaguesBBC
He went on to say: “I’m fed up… with my colleagues, a number of decent men and women who are being asked to go out on the television day after day, saying things that are frankly ridiculous and defending the indefensible.
“That’s not what a leader should do. When the prime minister gets asked these things on television, he says he can’t talk about them until the report from Sue Gray comes out. And yet ministers are sent out everyday to say things which aren’t defensible.”
It comes as recirculated footage of the prime minister denying the existence of a party in Downing Street on that particular date has also been widely shared online.
During an appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions on December 8th, Labour’s Catherine West asked Johnson: “Can the prime minister tell the House whether there was a party in Downing Street on 13 November?”
“No, but I’m sure whatever happened the guidance... and the rules were followed at all times,” replied the PM.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.