Raab defends Downing Street workers who are under ‘great pressure’

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – After police probing the partygate incident began issuing fines for lockdown breaches, Dominic Raab defended Downing Street workers who were under great strain.

There were certainly things that were incorrect, the deputy prime minister confessed, but added the PM had since revamped the Number 10 operation.

Mr Raab’s remarks came a day after the Metropolitan Police Service said that 20 fixed penalties would be imposed in 2020 and 2021 as a result of its investigation into lockdown-breaking parties in Whitehall and Downing Street.

Politicians from the opposition have called for Boris Johnson to quit as Prime Minister because laws have been breached in Number 10.

What had transpired, Mr Raab said, was “deeply regrettable.”

His experience was the great strain, hard effort, and dedication of the overwhelming majority of those working in Number 10, he told Sky News.

It’s not acceptable to malign all the civil servants who have worked so hard during the pandemic, Mr Raab said, adding that he was in agreement with the need for accountability for what had happened.

He doesn’t accept that sort of caricature is right, he continued.

He had seen a lot of people working extremely long hours under extreme stress and giving it their all.

There were certainly several things that were done incorrectly, he believes.

The people that have come in and departed, at least some of them, are well-known, and that’s because he and they both take it very seriously.

Government officials, civil servants, and politicians, to name a few, all make mistakes.

If he was asked what he had witnessed during the pandemic, he saw a large number of individuals working really long hours under incredible pressure to do the right thing, he said.

Mr Johnson’s original assertions that no rules had been broken were also backed by Mr Raab, who said he was “telling the House of Commons and the public what he knew to the best of his ability” at the time.

Mr Johnson was one of 100 people who received formal legal questionnaires as part of the Operation Hillman probe, which began in January.

Following the Met’s announcement of the fines on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Prime Minister said Mr Johnson had not yet received a fine, but that he would be informed if he did.

Other employees who incur penalties, on the other hand, may remain anonymous – even to the civil service and Downing Street – since they will not be requested to reveal their identities.

Whether Cabinet Secretary Simon Case is penalised, there will be an exception, according to Number 10.

Ashton Perry

Ashton Perry is a former Birmingham BSc graduate professional with six years critical writing experience. With specilisations in journalism focussed writing on climate change, politics, buisness and other news. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and media freedom, Ashton works to provide everyone with unbiased news.