TONIGHT’S BBC Panorama special, presented by Laura Kuenssberg, is utterly damning in not just exposing the extent to which Downing Street was a hotbed of lockdown law-breaking – but how the Prime Minister set the tone.

We already knew that Downing Street was the worst address in Britain for breaches of the Covid-19 regulations, which were set by the Boris Johnson Government.

Now, on the eve of Sue Gray’s long-awaited report into the scandal, we have heard from Government employees about how lockdown parties were part of the Downing Street culture.

The Prime Minister clearly knew that the parties – including one on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral – were taking place. He’s faced one fine himself, among the 126 issued by the Metropolitan Police, but he surely has to take responsibility for many more because he gave the parties the nod.

And the fact that he knew the parties were a regular occurence means he misled Parliament by repeatedly insisting no rules were broken. That being the case, as evidenced by Government employees who were there, how can there still be any question about whether he should resign?

The quote that resounded more than any other to me during the Panorama programme was one of the Government employees saying: “Inside Downing Street, it was different to the world outside.”

Crowded rooms. Singing and dancing through the night. People sitting on each other’s laps. Party debris to be cleared up the next day. So much for the social isolation the Prime Minister demanded on our TVs night after night.

One rule for those who set the laws, and one rule for those who obeyed them even though it meant their loved ones dying, or being laid to rest, alone.

Panorama also, rightly, highlighted the fact that Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is under renewed investigation by Durham Police for having beer and curry with party officials after a day on the campaign trail.

If found guilty, he has vowed to resign – as I said he should the night before he made the pledge.

There are those, of course, who continue to describe it all as “non-story” that isn’t important in the context of the cost-of-living crisis and the war in Ukraine. But, to me, those grave areas of concern amplify why we need leaders we can trust, rather than serve to provide a convenient excuse for law-breaking at the heart of a Government that imposed the rules.

I hope those who called it a non-story watched Panorama tonight.  I hope they take a moment to think how flippant and uncaring that description sounds to those who lost loved ones in such heartbreaking and isolated circumstances.

And I hope enough Tory MPs now see, in sufficient numbers, that they should sign letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister - even before the Sue Gray report heaps more shame on their leader for the partying culture he condoned and took part in.