Birstall and Birkenshaw Tory councillor says Boris Johnson 'must resign'

A Conservative member of Kirklees Council has said Boris Johnson must resign over the 10 Downing Street parties scandal.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 3:00 pm
Conservative councillor Josh Sheard, who says Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign. (Image: LDRS)

Josh Sheard, who represents Birstall and Birkenshaw, says he is “frustrated, annoyed and angry” at the Prime Minister’s behaviour and that it must not be allowed to “taint” the reputation of Tories doing good work locally.

Coun Sheard, the youngest councillor ever elected in the borough when he won his seat last year aged 19, said Mr Johnson must consider his position.

His comments came after a bruising Prime Minister’s Questions debate in Parliament in which Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer repeatedly called on Mr Johnson to step down.

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It follows revelations that Downing Street staff were invited to a “boozy” party in the garden of Number 10 in May 2020 when lockdown rules in England banned large gatherings.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service Coun Sheard said: “We cannot have a leader who is giving rules out but who is then willing to break them himself.

“There were people in Batley and Spen who had loved ones in hospitals and care homes that they could not see. There were people dying in hospitals with Covid and their families were saying goodbye to them on iphones, and there he was boozing away in his garden.

“This is an argument between what is right and what is wrong. He is quite clearly in the wrong.

“If he has broken his own rules then he must do the honourable thing and resign.”

Coun Sheard is the first member of the Conservative group on Kirklees Council to publicly break ranks on whether the Prime Minister should quit.

Admitting that he “might get into trouble” for speaking out he also indicated that fellow Tory councillors had a “mix of feelings” on the issue.

He added: “I can’t and won’t speak for [my colleagues]. Some have expressed support towards him. Others are against him.

“I believe his actions will damage us [in Kirklees]. I have full confidence in us as Kirklees Conservatives but not in Boris Johnson

“We want to deliver a better local authority. What he is doing is not what we are about.

“Boris Johnson is the person that we are looking to for leadership. Yet he can’t even follow his own simple rules.

“I don’t want him to taint us. We have stuck by the rules and will continue to stick by them.”