Former UK prime minister Sir John Major launched a scathing attack on incumbent Boris Johnson and his cabinet on Thursday, accusing him of finding “brazen excuses” for the Partygate scandal.
“At No. 10, the prime minister and officials broke lockdown laws,” Major said.
“Day after day the public was asked to believe the unbelievable. Ministers were sent out to defend the indefensible — making themselves look gullible or foolish,” he told the gathered reporters.
“Collectively, this has made the government look distinctly shifty, which has consequences that go far beyond political unpopularity.”
“No government can function properly if its every word is treated with suspicion,” he emphasised.
The country’s prime minister from 1990 to 1997, Major also lamented the state of democracy, expressing his concern that democracies the world over are increasingly in jeopardy, including the UK.
“Trust in politics is at a low ebb, eroded by foolish behaviour, leaving a sense of unease about how our politics is being conducted. Too often, ministers have been evasive, and the truth has been optional.”
The scandal caused a significant public uproar, forcing Johnson to apologise to MPs, saying, “I get it, and I will fix it”, and promising to reform his office.
Johnson has denied personal wrongdoing and said he has “absolutely no intention” of resigning.
Major said if Johnson is found to have lied to parliament, he should quit.