On Recent Events

A joint statement to members from the Association Chairman Keith Single and Member of Parliament, Natalie Elphicke OBE MP

The Prime Minister has explained and apologised for his part in these events that have come to light. We think it is absolutely right that he should do so. Mrs Elphicke has said that she was shocked by the tone and content of the email about the ‘bring a bottle’ event. Let us both be clear, if Covid rules have been broken then they shouldn’t have been.

Turning to the culture of socialising and drinking in Parliament, in parts of the civil service and Government. It is time to modernise and change the old-fashioned way in which Parliament and Government sometimes operates. These are behaviours that have long stopped in other workplaces and it is high time that they stopped in Westminster too. The Prime Minister is reported to be looking at changes to the culture of Downing Street. That seems to us to be the right thing to do. Indeed, wider steps could be taken to modernise the culture and working practices of Parliament as a whole. This is a good time to look at all of those issues.

While events that have been reported are deeply disappointing, this is the Prime Minister who has got us out of Europe, who will tackle the small boats crossings and have strong borders, who has nursed the economy to be back on track as the fastest growing of the G7 economies and who has saved so many lives with the rapid development and deployment of the Covid vaccines.

We hope that we can move forward as a very strong and successful United Kingdom. This is the Prime Minister, and the Government, who can do that.