SENIOR civil servant Sue Gray has finally published her report about law-breaking at the heart of government during Covid lockdowns.

The hard-hitting document describes gatherings at which officials drank so much they were sick, sang karaoke and abused security and cleaning staff at a time when millions of people across the country were unable to see friends and family.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly rejected calls to quit over the so-called Partygate scandal.

READ MORE: Southampton Labour leader calls for Boris Johnson to resign over Sue Gray's damning findings

Mr Johnson says he takes "full responsibility" for the scandal but has sought to play down his involvement in the gatherings detailed in Ms Gray's report.

A snap poll conducted by YouGov after it was published yesterday said three in five Britons want Mr Johnson to quit.

While some Conservative MPs have been consistently critical of Number 10's lockdown party culture, others have not publicly condemned what went on behind closed doors.

READ MORE: What our MPs think of Sue Gray's report and Boris Johnson's response

Below are Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith's responses to the Partygate scandal over the past five months.

January 12, 2022

Just days after news of the May 2020 lockdown-busting garden party broke, Mr Johnson started to receive calls to resign from opposition parties.

Asked to comment on the situation, Mr Smith said: "I don't know if the Prime Minister broke any rules, we'll know more after the enquiry, but whatever the situation with invites and parties, the Prime Minister was outside in his own garden so far as I can tell."

The Conservative MP went on to question "why the media aren't publicly asking who is behind all of these leaks and allegations" claiming that "that is the real story in my opinion".

He added: "The Prime Minister needs to explain what he knows, apologise if necessary and move on. I think most people would have understood that."

January 17, 2022

Only five days later, Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes called for Sue Gray's investigation to "conclude rapidly".

This followed revelations of parties at Number 10 on the night before Prince Philip's funeral.

Asked again for his views, Mr Smith said: "The alleged parties were attended by people who should know better. Not politicians, not the Prime Minister, people who work in the building. I have nothing more to say on the subject."

January 25, 2022

Fast forward a week - the Metropolitan Police confirmed it would investigate reports of lockdown breaches at Downing Street.

Again, this sparked calls for the Prime Minister to resign to which Mr Smith responded: "If the Met feel there needs to be an investigation then I support that decision. The sooner all the facts are public the happier I will be.

"I much prefer an investigation and evidence before being asked to judge other people’s behaviour. It’s a shame a few more don’t feel the same way."

February 3, 2022

At the start of February, Mr Royston was asked to stop "defending the indefensible".

"For the good of the country Johnson must go, and I find it deeply worrying that Royston Smith appears to be placing a misguided party loyalty ahead of the interests of Southampton and the nation," said John Spottiswoode, of Southampton and District Green Party.

Tory MP Caroline Nokes also called for Mr Johnson's resignation.

However, Mr Smith said he would "wait for that enquiry to report before I pass judgement".

He said: "I am concerned that the Green Party think it is appropriate to condemn someone without seeing the evidence. Goodness knows what this would mean to the adage, 'innocent until proven guilty' if they ever got their hands near the levers of power.

"The media and the opposition wanted a police enquiry, they now have one. I will wait for that enquiry to report before I pass judgement.

"I will leave it to others to explain why they believe the Prime Minister should go, regardless of what the police enquiry uncovers. What I have absolutely no intention of doing is taking advice from the Green Party who now appear to believe natural justice no longer applies."

April 20, 2022

Fresh calls for Mr Johnson to resign were made after angry exchanges during Prime Minister's Questions.

That day, the Prime Minister apologised in the Commons for flouting Covid laws and being fined by police.

Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, called again for him to quit.

But in response, Mr Smith simply said: "I was hoping to hear some questions about government policy or Labour’s alternative suggestions. Once again it was not to be."

May 25, 2022

Sue Gray's report was finally published.

Mr Smith admitted rules were broken but refused to criticise the Prime Minister's leadership.

He said: "Rules in the office complex, referred to as Number 10, were broken.

"The Prime Minister was implicated believing that thanking someone for their service qualified as a work event. Both Sue Gray and the Metropolitan Police found that to be the case.

"People were calling for the Prime Minister to go long before any enquiries were even begun and no doubt will continue to do so.

"What I want us to do is get on with helping my constituents with the cost of living and levelling up our country."

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