MP COLUMN: Governments who make laws should be expected to abide by them

Alan Campbell, Tynemouth MP.Alan Campbell, Tynemouth MP.
Alan Campbell, Tynemouth MP.
There are many images and symbols of Partygate including the now infamous suitcase used to bring drinks into a late night Downing Street party and then the cake at the centre of the PM’s Birthday Party.

They contrast with the lives the rest of us were leading during lockdown.

Ministers have been sent out with a series of defensive lines, none of which worked for long, culminating in the suggestion that none of this really matters because there are more pressing issues.

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Families are facing a cost of living crisis with soaring energy bills, tax rises and rising inflation.

There’s the long lorry queues at Channel ports as importers and exporters struggle to make Brexit work.

There’s the crisis over Ukraine as the spectre of war stalks Europe.

And in the next few weeks expect to see crime statistics showing violent crime is rising.

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There’s a growing backlog of NHS operations and further evidence of fraudulent COVID contracts.

So it’s not unreasonable to ask why the Government isn’t concentrating on those things instead of drawing up excuses for Downing Street parties.

But investigating Partygate matters and here’s why.

It matters because Governments who make laws should be expected to abide by them.

If they don’t, it looks like one rule for them and another for the rest of us and thereby trust is lost.

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It also matters because leadership means taking responsibility including for the people chosen to work for you.

President Harry S Truman introduced a sign on his White House desk saying “The Buck Stops Here” and he was right.