The Downing Street Christmas party controversy is a "distraction" that's being exaggerated by Boris Johnson's "anti-Brexit enemies", a former Tory MP has claimed.
Edwina Currie says more people in the UK are worried about the Omicron variant than the ongoing political scandal.
In a week where the UK government announced new COVID restrictions, front pages have instead been dominated by further details about events held by Downing Street staff last December while the rest of London was in lockdown.
The controversy escalated when a video of a Downing Street spokesperson joking about a party was released by ITV.
The spokesperson Allegra Stratton has since resigned, while Boris Johnson has apologised for the video.
While an investigation is ongoing into what happened last December 18th, Mr Johnson continues to insist he has been assured that no party took place.
Nonetheless, there has been growing public and political fury over the revelations - including from MPs within the Conservative Party itself.
On The Anton Savage Show, Ms Currie firmly defended the British prime minister - saying it's neither "fair nor right" to assume Mr Johnson himself was involved in any parties.
She pointed out that Downing Street is an "awful lot bigger than most people realise", and what's going on in one room may not be known to those elsewhere in the building.
She said: “You know why this is a distraction? This is a prime minister that won a massive majority in order to do Brexit… he’s still got a lot of anti-Brexit and Remainer enemies who would dearly love to see his government weakened and him destroyed.
“The second thing here is that the Labour opposition here is so weak… that they know the only way they could win an election is if Boris wasn’t fighting it. That's your politics.
“I think leadership is a requirement of office, and leadership includes taking difficult decisions.
“Sometimes the staff and people around you… are not quite up to the same standard. But I don’t think that excludes Boris from being one of the most extraordinary prime ministers."
She suggested anybody who refuses to follow the current COVID rules on the basis of the Downing Street controversy is an "absolute loon".
Ms Currie also defended Boris Johnson's track record, including the funding they provided to COVID-19 vaccine and treatment development.
She admitted he's "very far from a saint" but argued he's still an effective leader and prime minister.
She said: "He has dominated politics in this country, for over a decade. He has always been the most unlikely person to succeed, and yet I think he’s succeeding.”
Ms Currie firmly insisted Mr Johnson is “not a racist” - noting his cabinet is a “hell of a lot more diverse” than the Irish government’s.
She also thinks it’s “rubbish” to suggest he should be excluded from office for previous lies, such as making up quotes for past newspaper articles.