Doncaster voters angry with PM Boris Johnson but many on the fence over whether he should resign for lockdown party

Voters in Doncaster are angry at Prime Minister Boris Johnson but some are on the fence if he should resign.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 1:56 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under tremendous pressure over his future following the revelations about the Downing Street parties during lockdown
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under tremendous pressure over his future following the revelations about the Downing Street parties during lockdown

Mr Johnson did have his supporters with some saying it was ‘no worse than what the neighbours did’ in breaking lockdown rules.

But others vented their fury and said people were locked in their homes and couldn’t say goodbye to loved ones during the time the PM attended a drinks party in his Downing Street garden during the height of lockdown in May 2020.

Some also said they would make their minds up when the investigation carried out by senior civil servant Sue Gray concluded. Reports suggest the findings come as early as Tuesday, January 25.

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Edward Thorte of Balby would vote for a Tory party headed by Boris Johnson again

This was reflected in one woman from Rossington who said she was a fan of Mr Johnson and would vote for him again but if the internal investigation into the so-called ‘partygate’ was damning, the PM ‘may have to resign’.

Others said his behaviour was wrong but added he had an ‘impossible task’ with Coronavirus.

Walking along West Laith Gate was 41-year-old Andrew Leishman from Bessacarr.

The former landlord of the Lord Nelson pub in the town centre, he revealed he wasn’t eligible for support during lockdown.

Andrew Leishman of Bessacarr believes Boris Johnson should resign

“I think he should resign to be honest. It just showed himself to be a little bit of a hypocrite,” he said.

“As much as he’s had possibly the hardest job in the world, you tend to look to the leader of the country to lead by example.”

Asked what he was doing when the Downing Street party took place in lockdown, he added: “I ran a bar in town in May 2020 and my entire world fell to pieces at that point.

“Because I didn’t pay the rates on the business, I didn’t get any help. I’m a little bit angry, I had a child during lockdown so that made it even more difficult.”

Student Charlie Mitchell believes the PM should resign

Mr Leishman said he voted for the Consevative party for the first-time in 2019 and he was ‘swaying towards’ not voting for them again. But he added Labour had work to do to earn his vote.

Patricia Sanderson aged 62, from Balby said the situation coming out of Downing Street was ‘dreadful’.

She voted for Tories for the first time in 2019 but said she would vote Labour next time after what had gone on.

Stopping to chat along Priory Place, she said: “With all the people that died during the time, people in their homes in lockdown, it’s absolutely dreadful.

Patricia Sanderson intends to return to voting Labour after selecting the Conservatives in 2019

“I’m normally Labour and I voted for Boris in 2019 but I think I’ll be going back to Labour now.

“From others I’ve spoken to about this, they’re similar to me and they won’t Conservative again.”

Many who supported the PM didn’t wish to be named.

But one of his supporters who agreed to go on the record was pensioner Edward Thorte from Balby who was outside Doncaster railway station.

The 71-year-old Tory voter said the whole thing had been ‘blown out of proportion’ and would vote for him again.

“Everyone in the media has been constantly on his back ranting and raving and getting at him. But I think he’s done a good job on the pandemic.

“But who’s going to take over from him? That’s the question and there’s no one for me.”

One woman who didn’t wish to be named said if there was a ‘suitable alternative’ to Mr Johnson, then he should resign.

The Hatfield resident didn’t vote in 2019 and said she couldn’t cross her ballot for Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson.

“There’s no one else who could step in at the moment for me,” she said.

“I don’t think there is a standout candidate to step up to the plate, I’d just let him get on with it and let people decide at the next election.”

But another woman in her 60’s from Balby who didn’t wish to be named was scathing of the Prime Minister and called for him to go.

“He should resign because there were people losing loved ones and they couldn’t be with them while they all had a drink together. It’s terrible, it’s wrong.

“All I did was go to the supermarket and stayed at home, sitting in my garden at the time of this party. I didn’t have anyone at my house.”

The woman also said she was thinking of ‘going back to Labour’ and voted Conservative for the first time in her life.

But one couple in Doncaster markets praised the job of the Prime Minister and said he shouldn’t resign.

“The media have hyped it all up – we didn’t break the rules but some of our neighbours certainly did, parties and the like. I don’t think it’s any worse than that,” one woman said.

“He’s done a good job, he shouldn’t resign,” a man she was with added.

Student Charlie Mitchell wasn’t old enough to vote in 2019 but said he wouldn’t be voting Conservative at the next election.

The 18-year-old said the PM should step down surrounding the reports he attended a drinks party in his garden during the height of lockdown.

“I think he should resign, what he’s done so far is just a load of lies,” he said.

“With the parties going on in Downing Street during the lockdown, It was very wrong for him to do that and people couldn’t see their grandparents because of the lockdown, but he was allowed to have a party – it’s wrong.

“If there’s a lockdown for us, then it should be the same rules for him. We were all sitting inside while they partied – it’s not right.”

But one couple walking toward Waterdale were split on what should happen with the PM.

Julia Hunt from Rossington was backing Boris Johnson while her husband David said he probably should go as he ‘wasn’t helping the country’.

He added that the jury is out with the internal investigation but at this point, he should be ‘close to resigning’.

“I just think the reasons he’s giving for the parties – it’s just very difficult to believe,” he said.

“He’s being economical with the truth, let’s put it that way.”

But Julia said she accepted the PM’s apology and that the country needs to move on. She said the alternative with Labour didn’t sit well with her.

But she conceded that people should wait for the findings of the Sue Gray report.