A fraught encounter between Rupa Huq and Boris Johnson during the 2015 general election on Churchfield Road, Acton
A fraught encounter between Rupa Huq and Boris Johnson during the 2015 general election on Churchfield Road, Acton

This article was first published on Ealing Today.

Happy New year – if one can still say that? We’re only days into 2022 but it’s already turning out to be a bumper one with heavy news agenda: NoVax DjoCovid banned from Oz? Prince Andrew losing all his privileges? Chinese interference with UK MPs? All these would be big stories any other time but they all landed on the same day when we’ve also had to digest revelations regarding the plethora of parties that seem to have engulfed Downing Street throughout the entire Covid period.

One would be bad enough, two may be a coincidence but the ever mushrooming number of rave ups we hear about daily at Number 10 have shocked and sickened us all forming a distinct pattern. From the BYOB gatherings of 2020 to those accompanied with suitcases of booze from the Co-op further down the line via Christmas secret Santa bashes as the Queen attended Prince Philip’s funeral as a solitary figure symbolising duty and dignity the gory details seem never-ending. Throughout the same period us mere mortals had purchases limited to “shop considerately” as we queued at supermarkets and were banned from seeing loved ones in care homes and hospitals as the nation experienced a covid death toll now at 150,000 and rising.

As a red wall Tory MP said to me in the lift en route to PMQs this week, “If the PM’s broken the law, he has to go. No two ways about it.” Increasingly Conservatives are saying he can’t last, yet it seems in the eyes of Boris rules are for little people. Contrasting the edicts from the Number 10 podium to happenings in the garden it’s about “do as I say not as I do” – his grudging semi apology underlined this. He still thinks he broke no rules as the setting was adjoining a work setting. The only thing he regrets is getting caught. Of course other parties have come to light since. The police, let’s not forget, prosecuted people for less serious infractions of the restrictions.

Johnson must do the decent thing now and resign. Every poll shows that he has lost the confidence of the nation. He has lied to the House of Commons and brings the office of Prime Minister and indeed the whole of politics into disrepute. My inbox is full of outrage. People made enormous sacrifices. Our valiant NHS were on their knees – indeed they and most other keyworkers would be sacked for drinking alcohol on the job. He hides behind an enquiry but he has commissioned this. It is concerning that he himself with assess the course of action taken consequently. In the case of Priti Patel, whilst it was found she did bully Home Office civil servants BoJo decided no action would be taken. If his MPs won’t throw him under the bus and the investigation has no teeth he should not cling on by his fingertips but for the good of the country GO!

Let’s hope the PM is job hunting this year. If you are too you may be in luck, I have a plum post going in my office. It’d suit someone with an appetite for administration and sharp political antenna who can oversee outputs of me and my busy team and doesn’t mind dipping into all aspects of our work from formulating questions to ask the PM, handling the media and processing problems of constituents in order to resolve them. It’s a pacey and exciting workplace and you would work in a mixture of Parliament/ Acton and right now remotely. People with a familiarity with Ealing, Acton and Chiswick in terms of geography, demography and organisations always have the edge over other applicants for me.

More details are here: send on a CV, short written exercise and covering letter. Pay and exact title would be decided depending on successful applicant’s experience but could range from £22,402 and £48,844. More details at w4mp, the site for everyone working for an MP. Applications by email, closes 24 January.

Rupa Huq
MP for Ealing Central and Acton

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