THE two Borders MPs have responded to criticism from the opposition over their response to reports of Downing Street parties during lockdown.

On Wednesday (January 12), Boris Johnson admitted he attended a ‘bring your own booze’ gathering at No 10 in May 2020.

Following the admission, Colin Smyth, of Scottish Labour, called on Tory representatives in the region to “have the guts to stand up for their constituents and condemn these actions without delay”.

Also commenting after Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Borders MP John Lamont said it was "completely unacceptable that this event went ahead", adding that he did not understand how anyone attending could have thought it was compliant with the rules.

Tweeddale MP David Mundell said that an opportunity for a “full, straightforward explanation” to the allegations was missed on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Borders MP criticises plans to remove most phone boxes in the region

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson offered his “heartfelt apologies” for attending the garden ‘party’ during the first lockdown. The Prime Minister told MPs that the gathering was “technically within the rules” but that he should have realised how it would look.

Criticising Conservative figures in the region, Mr Smyth said: “Despite weeks of coverage of Downing Street parties during lockdown, local Tory MPs and MSPs have failed to utter one word of criticism of their leader. They are a complete disgrace.

“The idea that while people were dying in hospital from this terrible virus and our amazing NHS was battling with untold horrors trying to keep them alive, the Tories were holding parties attended by the Prime Minister is completely disgusting, as is the failure of local Tory politicians to condemn these actions.”

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is investigating whether coronavirus rules were broken at a number of lockdown get-togethers.

At least 10 alleged gatherings, in Downing Street or government departments, have come to light so far.

READ MORE: Police seek help to trace good Samaritan after 49-year-old man assaulted in Duns

On the No 10 garden gathering, John Lamont, Conservative MP for Roxburgh, Berwickshire and Selkirk, said: “It is completely unacceptable that this event went ahead. I do not understand who could have organised or attended such an event and thought it was compliant with the rules.

“Anyone not following the rules we have all been expected to should be held responsible. That is only fair to those of us who diligently complied with restrictions for months on end.”

Responding to Mr Smyth’s comments, Mr Mundell said: “I do not believe the way events have unfolded, let alone the idea of parties during lockdown, are acceptable and, to be clear, I have myself never attended any such gathering.

"There have been calls, which I support, for a full explanation of the events in question to be given before the publication of the ongoing report by the independent civil servant Sue Gray.

“Certainly, I cannot see that offering this information could in any way prejudice the outcome of the report, and it would provide the public with answers to which they are most definitely entitled in these circumstances.”

READ MORE: Council vehicle clocked at 58mph in 20mph zone in Borders, FoI data suggests

The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP added: “This week in the House of Commons was an opportunity for that full, straightforward explanation to be given, but I regret that I do not believe it was taken.

“Along with everyone else, I will now await the outcome of the report by Ms Gray.”

Following PMQs, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross called on Mr Johnson to resign.

“I don’t want to be in this position, but I am in this position now, where I don’t think he can continue as leader of the Conservatives,” said Mr Ross.

He added that there was “significant unrest and concern” among Tories either side of the border.