Reply from Tewkesbury MP on Partygate

Laurence Robertson MP for Tewkesbury – Source:

Dear Editor,

I wrote to my MP Laurence Robertson, the Conservative MP for Tewkesbury, expressing my anger about the claims of parties in Downing Street.

This is the reply below. I don’t mind that it is a standard reply because at least he has written it and it is not a ‘cut and paste’ from HQ. I know how angry he was about the Cummings trip to Barnard Castle in 2020, as we had an email exchange about it at the time, and I do think he is equally angry now. Whether that means he will call for the PM to go is another matter of course.

[Name and address provided].

Dear [Name provided],

Thank you for your email. I hope you will excuse this standard response, but it is one I have written myself.

On 5th May 2020 my father died of Covid-19 and, due to the rules in place at the time, neither my sister nor I were able to visit him as he lay dying in hospital. On 15th May 2020, only six of us were able to attend his funeral, and that evening my wife and I had to sit at home alone, as did my sister and her husband, unable to hold the customary wake or get together to help us to begin to recover from our loss. Again, this was so that we could comply with the Covid rules.

I’m sure that you can imagine, therefore, that I have total empathy with those who have found themselves in similar situations over the last two years and I have the deepest possible sympathy for them. I’m equally sure that you will also anticipate my feelings about the reports of parties – particularly the one apparently held on 20th May, just five days after my father’s funeral – and other social gatherings which allegedly took place at 10 Downing Street and other government buildings. I do, therefore, understand, and share, the anger and upset which is felt by very many people. I, too, am deeply offended by what I’m hearing.

There cannot be different rules for different people. As you know, a senior civil servant is looking into these allegations and will, I hope, report very soon. Given the imminence of her report, I feel that it is right for me to consider the whole extent of the matter in the round before deciding on future action, and that is what I intend to do. This is not to kick the matter into the long grass, nor to hide behind the report – I will not do that – but I want to be able to review the whole situation, not just parts of it, and hope to be able to do that in just a few days’ time.

I am grateful to you for contacting me on this subject and I can assure you that I am treating it with the utmost seriousness.

Best wishes,


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