High Peak MP's Whaley Bridge office vandalised amid public anger over Downing Street parties

The Whaley Bridge constituency office of High Peak MP Robert Largan was attacked by vandals over the weekend as public frustrations mount over stories of lockdown parties in Number 10 Downing Street.

By Ed Dingwall
Monday, 17th January 2022, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 1:19 pm

The shopfront on Market Street was daubed with the word “LIES” in orange paint at some point between Saturday and Sunday, January 15-16.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Police said: “We were called to an office on Market Street, Whaley Bridge, on Sunday afternoon. A member of the public reported graffiti had been sprayed on the building.

“We are investigating and ask anyone with information to contact us quoting 220*0030645.”

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The graffiti was still visible on Monday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of the Whaley Bridge Chronicle)

It is the second time within a matter of weeks that graffiti has been found at the office, although on the previous occasion the message was perhaps less topical.

While the vandals’ intent is open to interpretation, national press outlets have linked the incident to public outrage over stories that Number 10 staff – and the Prime Minister – attended regular social gatherings at a time when many people were suffering under the strict rules of lockdown.

Mr Largan said he would not be making any comment on the vandalism while the police investigation is ongoing, but has acknowledged that breaches of restrictions took place in Downing Street.

In a letter to a constituent last week, quoted by the Daily Express, Mr Largan wrote: “I will not defend the indefensible. We cannot have a situation where it is one rule for politicians and another rule for everyone else. I can assure you that I will be taking the appropriate action to defend integrity in public life.”

That task will fall first to civil servant Sue Gray, who is investigating the alleged Downing Street parties amid speculation that the Prime Minister could be forced to resign.

Locally, High Peak Borough Council’s Labour deputy leader Damien Greenhalgh has asked residents to channel frustrations in more appropriate ways.

He said: “I’m disgusted to learn of the vandalism to Robert Largan's office. Robert and I disagree on many things but in a democracy we all agree elected representatives should be able to carry out their public service without fear of intimidation or harm.

"Public anger is understandable at the moment but Robert and his staff deserve to work without fear. Turning to criminal acts is not the solution.”

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