HEREFORD MP Jesse Norman no longer supports Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, hitting out at his "grotesque" response to Sue Gray's report into lockdown-breaking parties at Downing Street.

The Hereford Times has been pressing Mr Norman for his reaction to the report since it was published on May 25.

Response to Gray report ‘grotesque’

In a letter to the Prime Minister posted on social media, Mr Norman said Mr Johnson had presided over “a culture of casual law-breaking” in No 10, he also criticised Government policy and said he could never again serve in a government led by Johnson.


"First, as Sue Gray's report underlines, you have presided over a culture of casual law-breaking at 10 Downing Street in relation to Covid," he said.

"To describe yourself as "vindicated" by the report is grotesque."

Bill Wiggin still supports PM

While the Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman has slammed Mr Johnson over partygate, North Herefordshire's Sir Bill Wiggin has not.

In fact, Sir Bill has pledged his support to his party's leader.


He said: “Steps have been taken in government to address some of the criticisms made in Sue Gray’s report.

“But whichever way you read it, ultimately the Prime Minister has taken full responsibility, paid the fine and apologised.

“It’s down to all of us whether we accept that apology, and some will not. I do accept his apology and he continues to have my support.”

How Sue Gray’s report breaks down

Sue Gray’s final report into partygate runs to just over 14,000 words – nearly six times the length of her initial findings in January.

There are 26 references to alcohol, 20 mentions of wine, 12 of food and eight of cheese, some of which are contained in reproductions of emails and messages.

The report comprises 37 pages of findings and nine photographs.


Of the 37 pages, 28 give a detailed account of 12 events, running from one in the garden of 10 Downing Street on May 15 2020 to two gatherings inside 10 Downing Street on April 16 2021.

The rest of the report comprises seven pages of introduction and two pages of conclusions.

Hereford Times: Senior civil servant Sue Grey investigated lockdown parties at Downing Street. Picture: PA WireSenior civil servant Sue Grey investigated lockdown parties at Downing Street. Picture: PA Wire

The photographs come from two events in 10 Downing Street: four from a gathering on June 19 2020 to mark Boris Johnson’s birthday, and five from November 13 2020 for the departure of director of communications Lee Cain.

The word “party” appears only seven times in the report, four of which are contained within references to official Covid-19 guidance.

The conclusion runs to just over 650 words, and it is here that Sue Gray makes her only mention in the report of “failures”, with reference to her initial findings in January:

“I have already commented in my update on what I found to be failures of leadership and judgment in No 10 and the Cabinet Office.”

The conclusion is also where she makes her only reference in the report of things that “should not” have happened:

“Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen.”

There are 18 references in the report to the police, with the final mention appearing in the conclusion:

“It is also clear, from the outcome of the police investigation, that a large number of individuals (83) who attended these events breached Covid regulations and therefore Covid guidance.”