PM’s birthday celebration sparks new party row
The Prime Minister is once again facing pressure from the public and other ministers after he admitted to holding a birthday celebration at Downing Street during the first lockdown.
ITV News first reported the celebrations at which 30 people attended the event back in June 2020.
Number 10 released a statement about the event, claiming that staff had “gathered briefly” to wish the Prime Minister happy birthday, stating that the PM only attended for “10 minutes”.
Rules at the time of the party – 19 June 2020- banned most indoor gatherings involving more than two households.
ITV News said the birthday event had taken place in the Cabinet Room just after 2 pm that day, adding that it had been arranged as a surprise for Mr Johnson by his then fiancee, Carrie Symonds.
Only a week prior to the alleged birthday bash, Mr Johnson asked the public “to continue to show restraint and respect the rules which are designed to keep us all safe” during a Downing Street Covid press conference.
Now, Boris Johnson is once again facing criticism from MPs, with the question once against circulating will the Prime Minister resign?
Former Conservative Party chair Baroness Warsi told the BBC News Channel it was time for Mr Johnson to “think long and hard about what is in the best interest of this country”.
“The question he should be asking himself every morning is, ‘Is me staying in office allowing me to run this office in a way in which is making the country better, or am I a distraction?'” she added.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps came to Mr Johnson’s defense, denying that as many as 30 had been present. He said the group had been working together all day and the cake had been organised by Mr Johnson’s office.
Mr Shapps, whose father was in hospital for four months during the pandemic, told BBC’s Breakfast he was aware of the upset and anger people were feeling as new gatherings came to light.
Senior civil servant Sue Gray is currently investiagting multiple parties held at Dowing Street during the pandemic, with the results set to be revealed this week.
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