Monday, January 17, 2022

Public does not accept Prime Minister’s claim that gathering was a ‘work event’ – Givan

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The Northern Ireland First Minister said the public did not accept Boris Johnson’s claim that he believed the alleged Downing Street drink party was a working event.

Paul Givan said the prime minister controversy is distracting efforts to deliver public health messages in Northern Ireland.

“I don’t think the public would accept that justification if it was an attempt to justify that this was not a party and that it was a labor party,” he said.

“Ultimately, Boris Johnson must be able to convince the general public, he must also be able to convince his own party.

“It is you who decide the future of the prime minister. Either he makes a decision about his future himself or the Conservative Party will make that decision.

“And this report, for which Sue Gray is responsible, is going to be very important in my opinion.

“I think it is imperative that this work be concluded so that we can all draw a line under it and ensure that the broader public health message is consistent, rather than being distracted by what is going on on Downing Street. “

Mr. Givan added, “We know from what the Prime Minister has now admitted that there was an event on Downing Street for which he apologized.

“He wishes and regrets what happened and it should have been different.

“What we need now is this investigation as soon as possible. I don’t think doing this test for a long time is helpful.

“That should be done as soon as possible and the Prime Minister has said he will take responsibility and whenever this report is produced it will be tested to see how to take on that responsibility.

“But as a party, what happened that we said shouldn’t have undermined public health messages.

“It is right that the Prime Minister apologized for this.”

While not naming them, Mr Givan criticized Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill for attending the 2020 mass funeral of Republican Bobby Storey in Belfast at a time when such events were strictly limited.

“I just wish in Northern Ireland other people who went to events that were against the rules apologized,” he said.

Indeed, some have said that they would never apologize for some of the things in which they participated.

“What I want to see is that this report is now published as soon as possible and then the Prime Minister has to be tested whether or not he will take responsibility based on the results of this report.”

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