NORTH Wiltshire MP James Gray has decided not to condemn or defend the prime minister until the inquiry into the Downing Street party allegations is complete.

But he warned that any possible support would "disappear" if the final verdict suggests that the pandemic's strict guidelines were indeed broken by Number 10 staff and Boris Johnson.

Mr Gray said: "The ”presumption of innocence is one of the most sacred principles of English Law.

"It is just as wrong to come to some kind of conclusion or verdict or sentence during that process as it would be to publicly punish an alleged criminal before his trial.

“So I will not be tempted to do so. The prime minister is the prime minister – duly chosen by the Conservative Party to be our leader - and by a record majority by the whole electorate to be our PM only two years ago.

“So Conservative MPs continue to support him. For now.”

Mr Gray added that lockdown rules were plain and any breach of the rules by politicians or civil servants would be unacceptable.

He added: “As I very well know from my constituents, people went through all kinds of terrible tragedies and awful discomforts during lockdown; yet most people adhered to the rules pretty rigorously.

“So if proven, it would be simply unacceptable for those who make the rules simultaneously to be ignoring them.

"Democracy and the rule of law, and a respect for Parliament and government demand honesty and clarity to a higher level than any other public or private bodies. People in power must lead by example and must be wholly honest and straightforward in doing so."

On the PM's apology itself, he added: “The PM has apologised for attending what he describes as ‘a works event’ on the May 20.

“We know no more details of the way in which that event was organised nor whether it was acknowledged to be a ‘party’.

“However, by the PM’s own admission, it was in breach of the Covid rules, for which he has apologised.

“So all we can do for now is wait. I will not join the kangaroo court posse and nor will I criticise someone about whose misdeeds I have no knowledge or evidence.

“But you can be certain that if any of these allegations are found to be true, and if the PM or other senior people are shown to have been involved, then our support for them will, without doubt, disappear.”