I was utterly appalled by the events that were confirmed to have taken place in the Sue Gray Report. I was even more disgusted by the contents of some of the emails and the attitude towards the cleaning and security staff in Number 10.
Having worked in Number 10 Downing Street, I know how stressful an environment it can be. I can only imagine how much more so it would be in the circumstances that we were living through at the time. However, that is no excuse for breaking the rules that were set in that very building and speaking down to loyal and hardworking staff that keep Number 10 clean and secure.
I am pleased that a number of staff who were involved in the events outlined by Sue Gray have been removed from post. And that a number of changes have been made in how Downing Street operates to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.
The vast majority of the British people abided by the rules, so many missing key life events as a result. Many, including myself, saw loved ones die as a result of the pandemic we suffered.
And for them, I know that the feelings of disappointment and anger will not dissipate soon, if ever.
The Prime Minister has apologised. But these events happened on his watch and so he must bear ultimate responsibility.
My focus throughout the pandemic was, and continues to be, to support my constituents here in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine. Back in 2020/21 it was primarily focussed on helping people navigate the rules and apply for support- be that business support or furlough payments.
Now it is ensuring that we in this area build back from the pandemic- supporting our energy, tourism, hospitality and farming sectors through a very difficult period as the nation suffers under the current economic situation.
I know every MP will be considering how best to move forward from this. It is essential that whatever we decide, that decision is taken in the best interests of the country.
That is the challenge that faces us all.