BOURNEMOUTH MP Tobias Ellwood has described Sue Gray’s report into the parties during lockdown in Downing Street as “damning”.

Former minister Mr Ellwood said he had made his own position on the Prime Minister “very clear” before challenging his Conservative colleagues about their stance on his premiership.

The Bournemouth East MP asked Boris Johnson if he could think of any other Prime Minister who had allowed “such a culture of indiscipline” to take place under their leadership.

Mr Ellwood, who currently chairs the defence select committee, faced heckling from Tory MPs as he sought to question Mr Johnson in the House of Commons following the publication of Ms Gray’s report into the partygate scandal.

Mr Ellwood, who submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson back in February, said: “This is a damning report about the absence of leadership, focus and discipline in No 10 – the one place where you expect to find those attributes in abundance.

“I’ve made my point and my position very clear to the Prime Minister: he does not have my support.

“But a question I humbly put to my colleagues is ‘are you willing day in and day out to defend this behaviour publicly?'”

The Gray report gave details of gatherings at which officials drank so much they were sick, sang karaoke, became involved in altercations and abused security and cleaning staff at a time when millions of people across the country were unable to see friends and family.

The report said the “senior leadership” in No 10 must “bear responsibility” for the culture which led to lockdown rules being broken at a series of events in 2020 and 2021.

Bournemouth Echo: Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a gathering in 10 Downing Street for the departure of a special adviserPrime Minister Boris Johnson at a gathering in 10 Downing Street for the departure of a special adviser

Addressing his Tory colleagues in the House of Commons, Mr Ellwood said: “Can we continue to govern without distraction given the erosion of the trust with the British people?

“And can we win the general election on this current trajectory? I’m being heckled by my own people.

“If we cannot work out what we’re going to do, then the broad church of the Conservative Party will lose the next general election.

“But my question to the Prime Minister is very clear, on the question of leadership: can he think of any other prime minister who’d have allowed such a culture of indiscipline to take place under their watch and if it did would they not have resigned?”

In response, seemingly only on the question about the general election, Mr Johnson said: “I think the answer is overwhelmingly and emphatically yes, we are going to go on and win the next general election because we’re going to get on with the job.”