15 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Harper: Govt could have stopped strike misery months ago
  • Lib Dems call for Partygate conduct inquiry in ethics advisor’s ‘first test’ in post

Harper: Govt could have stopped strike misery months ago

Responding to Mark Harper on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg indicating he is hopeful for a deal to resolve the rail strikes, Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

This Government has spent months dithering, delaying and refusing to get around the table to resolve strike action. Millions of people have suffered upheaval and still, the Government won’t set out a timetable for resolution.

All of these strikes are a mess of the Government’s own creation. The Conservatives have failed workers and the public at the same time for months. They could have stopped these strikes from ever happening, but they didn’t, people are crying out for this strike misery to end.

Lib Dems call for Partygate conduct inquiry in ethics advisor’s ‘first test’ in post

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government’s new independent ethics advisor, Sir Laurie Magnus, to open an inquiry into the conduct of Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Cabinet Ministers during lockdown parties.

It comes after ITV News’ podcast Partygate: The Inside Story podcast made new allegations regarding the parties in Downing Street during the pandemic.

Amongst the most concerning of these include the claim that then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson joked that “this is the most unsocially distanced party” in the country, during one of the gatherings.

The current on-going inquiry focuses only on the question of whether Boris Johnson misled Parliament when he lied about having knowledge of the parties. The Liberal Democrats are demanding that the alleged inappropriate conduct is also investigated, given it did not come to light during the original Cabinet Office inquiry.

Liberal Democrat Cabinet Spokesperson Christine Jardine is also calling for the ethics advisor to be transparent with the public if the Prime Minister refuses permission for an inquiry to be launched.

Liberal Democrat Cabinet Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This is the first test for the new ethics adviser. If he cares about integrity, he will launch an investigation into these new shocking allegations – including whether any current or former Cabinet Ministers are implicated.

The kind of behaviour being alleged in these leaks would be extremely inappropriate in any workplace, let alone within government during Covid-19 restrictions and on the eve of the late Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

It’s staggering that well over a year on from the partygate first being uncovered, we are still hearing about new revelations to this day. The Conservatives have done damage to standards in public life and trust in politics. They must be held to account.

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