Paul Holmes has stepped down as Priti Patel’s PPS this afternoon following the publication of the Sue Gray report and the “toxic culture” in Downing Street. In a statement released on his website, Holmes said:
“Revelations from the Sue Gray report that staff and cleaners were not treated properly is both disappointing and unacceptable, it is right that the Prime Minister apologised to staff. It clearly showed a culture in Number 10 that was distasteful, and I am glad that there have been several reforms that Sue Gray has welcomed.
It is clear to me that a deep mistrust in both the Government and the Conservative Party has been created by these events, something that pains me personally as someone who always tries to represent Eastleigh and its people with integrity. Whether that is taking up your issues in Parliament or helping people with their problems closer to home, since 2019 we have completed over 12,000 pieces of constituency casework. It is distressing to me that this work on your behalf has been tarnished by the toxic culture that seemed to have permeated Number 10.
Over the last few weeks this distress has led me to conclude that I want to continue to focus solely on my efforts in being your Member of Parliament and the campaigns that are important to you. That is why I have now resigned from my governmental responsibilities as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office.”
The MP was dripping wet Stephen Hammond’s old researcher and a May-era SpAd. He appears to stop short of saying PM should go, so far, though don’t be surprised if he does at a difficult moment. Consequently Guido hasn’t added him to his rolling list of MPs calling for the PM to go… yet. “I have resigned to focus on my constituency. This is not about letters for me” he says. Cryptic…