Prime Minister ‘apologised in person’ to cleaning staff over partygate treatment
The Prime Minister “apologised in person” to cleaning and security staff in Number 10 who were treated poorly during partygate, a minister has confirmed to MPs.
Commons Leader Mark Spencer also told MPs that the Prime Minister had “addressed the culture” within Number 10 following the publication of the Sue Gray report.
The report into parties at the heart of Government during the Covid pandemic lockdowns revealed that security staff had been mocked by those revelling in Number 10, and cleaners had to deal with wine stains and vomit.
At Business Questions, Mr Spencer told MPs: “I am glad that Sue Gray has finally managed to get her report out there.
“I think it does identify the challenges that were ongoing in Number 10, but I think it also – as the Prime Minister made clear – he has addressed the culture within Number 10, he has changed the senior management team.
“I think he was also shocked, as many colleagues would be, by the treatment of security and cleaning staff.
“That is why the Prime Minister yesterday personally went around and apologised in person to those security and cleaning teams on behalf of those people who were rude to those people. I think that was the right thing to do.”
Mr Spencer added: “He has made it clear that the culture has now changed within Number 10 and what the Prime Minister is now doing, he is focused on what matters to the British people, which is the global fight against inflation, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and making sure our constituents priorities are the Government’s priorities as they always have been.”
The people of the United Kingdom want this Prime Minister gone and in democratic countries, what usually happens is that people get their way
Shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire had said it was “particularly sickening to learn of the total lack of respect and poor treatment of security staff, being mocked, and cleaners being left to mop up”.
She asked: “Could the Leader clarify if any of those who mocked staff are special advisers? If so has the Prime Minister sacked them and if not, why not?”
Ms Debbonaire also called on the Commons Leader to reveal “whether anyone in Government received a copy of Sue Gray’s report in advance of its publication” or “whether they attempted to change it”.
SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart called for a debate on the Sue Gray report and “the appalling culture in Number 10”.
He said: “The Prime Minister might think that moving on at lightning speed to do something he could have and should have done weeks ago on the cost-of-living crisis will make this go away, but it won’t. It simply won’t go away.
“Our constituents are utterly furious, and they’re simply not satisfied with his mealy mouthed apologies and this drivel about being humbled. They want us to debate, they want us to debate why it’s OK for Number 10 to have these parties to say goodbye to employees but no other workplace in this country was offered that facility.”
He added: “The people of the United Kingdom want this Prime Minister gone and in democratic countries, what usually happens is that people get their way.”
Mr Spencer replied: “He says this is the one topic that everybody wants to debate. I think that my experience is that people are sick and tired of hearing about this.
“They want the Government to be focused on actually what matters to them.”
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