People of Derbyshire ‘furious’ over Downing Street ‘bring your own booze’ event during first lockdown
People of Derbyshire have been telling of their anger and sharing the pain they experienced during the first lockdown in May 2020 – after reports emerged about drinks in the Downing Street garden that month.
On Monday, ITV published a leaked email from Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, inviting 100 staff to ‘socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden’ on May 20, 2020.
The invitation for the event, which was organised when strict lockdown rules were still in place, encouraged people to ‘bring your own booze’ and ‘make the most of the lovely weather’.
Witnesses have told the BBC the Prime Minister and his wife were among around 30 people who attended the gathering.
Mr Johnson has declined to say whether he was there.
Commenting on our Facebook page, Amanda Hardwick said: “No 10 hosted this party the day before my mum’s funeral – after I was told I couldn't spend the last couple of days of her life with her. I’m so upset and angry.”
Sue Lee said: “We lost our mum to Covid around the time of the party. We couldn't be with her when she passed, which breaks our hearts as at least one of us always visited every day. I’m furious.”
Megan Heaney said: “I had just given birth to my little girl three days previously and was alone in hospital with her because my husband wasn’t allowed to visit.”
Stacey Walker said: “I was working in a care home and had to spend four weeks isolating away from my own children. I didn't see my niece and nephews for weeks. I had to see my nan through the window. I watched residents deteriorate despite our best efforts because they missed their families so much.”
Charlotte Mason said: “We walked to my parents in the next village so they could see their first grandson who was nine-months-old and who they couldn't hold, kiss or cuddle for most of his first year of life. It's disgusting that Boris Johnson and others involved always think they're above the law and us. They're not.”
Anne Humphrey said: “It was my birthday on that day and I couldn't spend time with my daughter or grandchildren. I stuck to the rules.”
Louise Hawkins said: “My dad was 70 in May 2020. My sister should have travelled over from America to celebrate with us all. Instead my dad celebrated without his family around as we stuck to the rules.”
Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson has refused to comment on the latest revelations while an investigation, led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, takes place.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, minister Michael Ellis said her probe would be ‘swift’ and the conclusions published for everyone to see.
But Mr Ellis warned her enquiries could be ‘paused’ if the Metropolitan Police decided to carry out its own investigation into the incident.
A Labour spokesperson said: “In May 2020, the Government told us to only meet one other person outside.
“Millions of people stuck to the rules.
“Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives ignored them.”