A Tory MP has quit as a ministerial aide over the “deep mistrust” created by Sue Gray’s report on lockdown parties in Downing Street, according to BBC News.
Paul Holmes, an assistant to Home Secretary Priti Patel, said he was “shocked and angered” by the revelations in the report.
He added his work for constituents had been “tarnished by the toxic culture that seemed to have permeated No 10.”
Ms Gray’s report highlighted widespread Covid rule-breaking and drunkenness.
In a statement, Mr Holmes said the controversy had taken a “great deal of time away” from government efforts to tackle the cost of living crisis.
Four Conservative MPs have so far called on the PM to step down since the Gray report was published on Wednesday. Mr Holmes did not add his voice to their calls in his statement.
In her report, Sue Gray said many events held during Covid restrictions “should not have been allowed” and the prime minister and his officials “must bear responsibility for this culture”.
It follows a four-month Metropolitan Police inquiry that led to 126 fines being issued to 83 people who attended gatherings during 2020 and 2021.
Elected as MP for Eastleigh at the 2019 general election, Mr Holmes has been a parliamentary private secretary to Ms Patel since September 2021.
The unpaid role is the bottom rung of the ministerial ladder, and is often seen as a way for newer MPs to gain experience of working in government.
Image Source: BBC News