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A senior Tory minister was empty chaired on Good Morning Britain as he was ‘too busy’ to answer questions about the Partygate scandal.

Boris Johnson is facing more calls to resign, including from Tory MPs, after Sue Gray’s report on lockdown-busting parties at No 10 was published.

The senior civil servant’s investigation uncovered a boozy culture in Downing Street and Whitehall which saw little respect shown to security guards and cleaners.

It contained accounts of drunken fights, vomiting, karaoke machines, and people partying until the early hours of the morning.

This was all while ordinary members of the public faced unprecedented restrictions on their freedoms due to Covid-19 and were kept from seeing loved ones.

Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay has the unfortunate task of doing today’s media rounds on behalf of the Government.

The PM’s chief of staff was due to appear on GMB at 8.30am – the ITV show’s normal time for ministers.

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Sue Gray said multiple people told her about the ‘unacceptable’ treatment of workers in Downing Street (Picture: Reuters)

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Stephen Barclay (right) was nowhere to be seen on GMB this morning (Picture: PA)

But despite appearing on other media outlets, he decided to give this particular slot a miss.

GMB host Kate Garraway said: ‘Coming up, we’re going to be joined by Labour’s Lisa Nandy.

‘We would love to speak to Stephen Barclay, Downing Street chief of staff. He is the man – the government minister – we normally speak to them around 8.30.

‘He’s too busy this morning, we don’t know why. The chair is there for you Mr Barclay if you want to go and sit in it, we’d love to talk to you and hear all your points.’

More: Boris Johnson

Co-host Ben Shephard added: ‘We’ll squeeze you in because of course, undoubtedly, our viewers and everyone at home will want to hear your points, especially today of all days.’

Appearing on Sky News, Barclay said the Prime Minister had apologised to ‘all the staff affected’ during the Partygate scandal.

He added: ‘He went and apologised to staff, obviously (there are) the shift rotas, so it’s a question of which staff were in the building yesterday.’

When asked if Johnson had specifically sought out cleaning staff, Barclay said: ‘He has gone out to seek out staff to do that. He came to the House as well in terms of colleagues.

‘And it’s why he’s made so many changes in response, and Sue Gray recognises those changes in the report.’

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