The PM has admitted joining a ‘pizza and wine party’ with around twenty staff in the Downing Street garden during the first Covid lockdown.
People are very angry as you will see in the reactions at the end of the article.
No10 confirmed that Boris Johnson ‘briefly’ had an ‘outdoor meeting’ with then-health secretary Matt Hancock and a number of staff after a press conference on May 15 – where it was confirmed that another 384 people had died. However ministers insist it was a ‘meeting’ and ‘perfectly appropriate.’
At the time, people from different households were banned from mixing indoors and outdoor socialising was only permitted one-on-one – although essential work could continue in offices.
Oliver Dowden told Sky News: ‘I understand that this was a meeting that took place in the garden. Actually it was the case at the time if you are going to have a meeting you’re better off having it outside because of the fresh air and ventilation.’
Asked if the Cabinet Secretary would be investigating the gathering, he said: ‘I have seen the account given by Downing Street that there was a meeting that took place, and it took place outside. I think that that was perfectly appropriate and reasonable. There had been a press conference previously, and it was perfectly reasonable to have the meeting afterwards outside.’
Last orders time
Boris Johnson has been warned he is in “last orders time” after the Liberal Democrats overturned a massive Tory majority to win the North Shropshire by-election.
Conservative support in the ultra-safe seat collapsed as the Lib Dem candidate Helen Morgan sailed to victory by 5,925 votes, in another body blow to the Prime Minister’s battered authority.
Opposition parties and Tory MPs were quick to seize on the result as a verdict on the performance of the Government, after weeks of damaging headlines over “sleaze” and reported partying in breach of Covid rules.
Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden acknowledged the voters had given the Government a “kicking”, but insisted Mr Johnson had the vision to get them through a difficult period.
But after the revolt earlier this week by 100 Tory MPs over the latest Covid restrictions, the veteran backbencher Sir Roger Gale warned the Prime Minister was living on borrowed time.
“I think this has to be seen as a referendum on the Prime Minister’s performance and I think that the Prime Minister is now in ‘last orders’ time,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“Two strikes already, one earlier this week in the vote in the Commons and now this. One more strike and he’s out.
“The Conservative Party has a reputation for not taking prisoners. If the prime minister fails, the prime minister goes.”