THE leader of Colchester Council has said he feels “personally let down” by the Prime Minister after Boris Johnson broke lockdown rules by attending a party at Number 10 – but fell short on calling on him to resign.

Paul Dundas, the Conservative leader of the council, was writing in response to a public letter written by Labour councillor Adam Fox, who asked if Mr Dundas would publicly condemn the Prime Minister for breaking lockdown rules.

Mr Dundas said: “I share and understand the anger and disappointment of residents over these events.

“I feel personally let down by the behaviour of many – politicians and some civil servants – including the Prime Minister.”

However, he stopped short of joining the calls for Mr Johnson's resignation adding: "I will await Sue Gray’s report and the full facts before reaching a conclusion as to what needs to happen next.

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“As councillors, our role is to concentrate on doing the best job we can for Colchester rather than national issues which should generally be left for others above our pay grade.”

Mr Fox said Mr Johnson had “lost his authority and is too distracted to fulfil the duties of his office," in an open letter he published on social media.

The letter, addressed to Mr Dundas, read: “I’m writing to encourage you to condemn the Prime Minister and his team’s actions, in public.

“This contemptible behaviour needs calling out, regardless of political persuasion.

“I hope you’ll agree that this is the least the general public and your constituents deserve.”

Harwich's Labour mayor Ivan Henderson also called on Neil Stock, the Conservative leader of Tendring Council to publicly condemn the Prime Minister's actions following the 'Bring your own Booze' party scandal.

Mr Henderson said: "This is behaviour that needs calling out, no matter the political persuasion.

“People across Tendring pulled together to protect lives and livelihoods as we came through some of the darkest months of the pandemic.

"Bereaved families, our key workers and all those that diligently followed the rules have been mocked by Boris Johnson.

"Conservative councillors must choose – are they on the side of those who followed the rules to protect the NHS and save lives, or the out of touch Tory government who treat them with contempt.”

Mr Stock did not call for Mr Johnson to step down although he did admit there was a groundswell of pressure for the Prime Minister to go.

He said: “There is a great appetite for that.

“On the principle of three strikes and you are out, this is definitely a strike against him.

“He still commands strong support in the House of Commons and strong support among MPs, therefore for the foreseeable future he will remain in post.”