“Yesterday (12th April), the Prime Minister received a Fixed Penalty Notice for breaching lock-down regulations” says Michael Fabricant.
“He takes the matter incredibly seriously, has apologised, and accepted responsibility for the things he didn’t get right and the way this matter has been handled. And so he should.
“I genuinely believe, however, that Boris Johnson thought at the time he was not breaking the law as he was operating in a work bubble defined by law. This was not a case of ‘do as I say, while I will do what I like’. On the occasion he had drinks at the end of a tough day, he believed it was within the work bubble so there was no risk of Covid transmission – these were the same people he had been working with closely all day.
“Nevertheless, the police believe that this was against the rules and the Prime Minister will not be contesting the Fixed Penalty Notice.
“Over the last year, a teacher and two nurses have told me that they had some sympathy with the Prime Minister as after an exhausting day at work they, too, had had a drink with their work mates. They felt it safe as they had not mixed with others and, frankly, I cannot blame them. Those nurses had been working hard for many hours trying to save lives and their quick drink with close work mates could not have spread the disease. I am sure most other nurses and teachers stuck to the letter of the law as did I.
“Of course, I fully understand the anger of people who obeyed the rules, couldn’t visit relatives, and missed weddings and funerals. I was in lockdown in Lichfield all the time so I know exactly how they feel. But Boris Johnson’s mother died during lockdown too and he himself ended up in intensive care so he will also understand their anger.
“I have asked the Prime Minister to make a statement to the House of Commons next week when Parliament returns after Easter. He must also face Keir Starmer and other Party Leaders at Prime Minister’s Question Time next Wednesday. We will see how matters develop over the coming weeks, but despite his misjudgement, the Prime Minister has my support as he got the big calls right: including delivering Brexit, the first Covid vaccine programme in the world and, of course, Ukraine.”