The MP for Eastleigh has stepped down from his parliamentary role in the wake of the Sue Gray report - blasting "toxic culture" at Downing Street.

Conservative MP Paul Holmes has announced his resignation from his role as a Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Home Office. 

The news follows the release of Ms Gray's damning report into illegal gatherings at Number 10 at the height of the pandemic. 

Mr Holmes had previously said that he, like many colleagues, would be taking time to decide his next steps. 

But in a statement released today, the MP said he was "shocked and angered" by what happened "when so many people across Eastleigh followed the rules". 

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He added: "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 report published by the senior civil servant contained details of parties held in Downing Street in which officials drank until they were sick, sang karaoke and got involved in fights.

They were getting together at a time when millions across the country couldn't see their loved ones in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Holmes added: "We saw the best of everyone during the outbreak and pandemic, our NHS performed under great pressure, our communities came together to help those vulnerable people who needed assistance and I fundamentally believe that the Government did the right thing in order to allow us to be one of the first countries to be out of lockdown.

"We all did our bit to make sure that we had the fastest vaccine rollout and I believe the Prime Minister and civil servants deserve great credit for that.

"I am disappointed that all of this has taken a great deal of time away from the good work that Government has been doing and should be continuing to do, including dealing with the issue of the cost of living, focusing on our economic recovery and delivering for the people of Eastleigh and the wider country."

Following the publication of Ms Gray's report, other MPs in the area voiced their concerns at what went on behind the scenes of Number 10.

Julian Lewis, Conservative MP for New Forest East, said: "Everybody who took part, of whom he was one, must carefully consider what to do next."

Romsey and Southampton North MP, Caroline Nokes, said she felt the Prime Minister had "let down" her constituents and called for him to resign.

The new leader of Southampton City Council, Labour's Satvir Kaur, has also called for Mr Johnson to quit.

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