We must restore decency, honor and trust to the heart of our government

The situation of the No10 party is now an embarrassment for me and many of my colleagues. When you think “that’s it”, there is more and more.

It is now becoming a matter where the integrity of all of Westminster is in question, along with that of Downing Street revelers.

Between 6 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday, 106 emails crashed into my inbox about this. Not from regular “frequent” political opponents, but from genuine feelings of sadness and distrust from decent, good people who tell me enough is enough.

West Dorset is my home. I was born and raised here and have lived here most of my life. I know that I was elected not only because of the manifesto, but because the local population trusts me and, by default, our Prime Minister and our government.

I also know that regardless of political opinion, the most important thing is confidence in the Prime Minister, whether or not we agree on a policy or a principle.

This trust means that the law does not stop at the No10 garden wall and if some councilors did not think some of these rules were necessary, they should not have agreed to their imposition.

“It Can’t Go On”

But what makes it so bad is that when you think it is, there’s more, and more, and more. It just can’t go on.

Decent, ordinary, law-abiding citizens who have shown patience and some degree of understanding thus far are now putting this into the context of their own experiences.

In the nearby town of Yeovil, at the start of the lockdown, the crematorium turned away grieving family members at the door.

The appalling decision by the Archbishop of Canterbury meant that funerals were not allowed in our village churches (although they could have been).

My constituents watched with hearts pounding as Queen Elizabeth sat alone at her husband’s funeral while reminiscing about their own experiences.

These also included sitting alone at a funeral; being unable to be at the bedside of a dying loved one; or, as in many cases here, being unable to say goodbye at all because of the disgrace of so-called “direct cremation” – which participants were not permitted – imposed by South Somerset District Council (this , of course, wasn’t Boris’ fault).

“The Ultimate Embarrassment”

Learning on the news that Downing Street had to apologize to Her Majesty because of a party the day before Prince Philip’s funeral, however, is the ultimate embarrassment.

The backbenchers basically have three groups at the moment. Those who welcome these developments because they have hated Boris for a long time.

Those who are unconditional supporters, regardless of the development discovered.

And those of us, including me, who fundamentally want Boris to succeed, who believe in him, but who are deeply saddened and embarrassed by these continuing revelations – and, therefore, realize that this situation now seriously affects the outlook of the Conservative Party to reach its full potential – on top of what has been a record of success so far with Brexit, leveling and the vaccine programme.

Making rash decisions and assumptions without having all the facts at hand, even if there is a media storm, is not my style.

I am convinced that the Prime Minister’s apology in the House of Commons last week was not enough.

I told my government whip on Friday that an untimely inquiry was not underway and that we want the ‘Gray report’ to be considered urgently in the House of Commons.

But my mission, and that of my colleagues, is now to ensure that decency, honor and trust are restored to our government.

Therefore, once this report is available, we will review all the facts and necessary actions.

Chris Loder is MP for West Dorset


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