The man who has overseen York’s vaccination rollout has spoken about the police fines levied on Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak over ‘Partygate’.
Both the Prime Minister and his Chancellor have been hit with criminal sanctions for attending a gathering in the Cabinet Room to mark the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday on June 19 2020.
It means Mr Johnson is the first sitting British Prime Minister to have been found to have broken the law.
Both the PM and Chancellor have apologised and paid the fine – but resisted calls that they should resign.
Dr Mike Holmes, head of the city’s vaccination programme run by Nimbuscare, was asked by Ben Fry on YorkMix Radio this morning whether the police action would damage morale among frontline NHS workers.
“Let’s take a step back first. Politicians like Mr Johnson, Mr Sunak, everybody who works in Downing Street, did an incredibly difficult job. I certainly wouldn’t want to do it. They’re all trying to do the right thing, and it’s not easy,” he said.
“And they’ve made mistakes. I think it’s very clear that mistakes have been made here. I think the good thing, the thing that might protect morale, is that standards have been adhered to.
“Action has been taken. It’s been taken really seriously. And we shouldn’t underplay it.”
‘We need to move on’
It was right that police got involved and took sanctions, Dr Holmes said.
“I guess what happens next is up to the rules of Westminster and politics, and that’s really complex, particularly in the context of everything else that’s going on in Europe – our thoughts are with anybody who’s connected with with the event in Eastern Europe,” he told Ben.
“So I think my summary is, rules have been broken, mistakes have been made, action has been taken, standards have been adhered to, and we’ve not shied away from that.
“And I think that should be a lesson for everybody in healthcare, really.
“But it’s happened, and we need to move on from it.
“I think morale might be boosted. I think the fact it has been taken seriously, we’re dealing with a really serious illness that has dramatic and terrible consequences, and appropriate action has been taken.”