Advertisement
News

Healthcare union blasts ‘inexcusable’ No.10 BYOB party as Boris Johnson dodges scrutiny

Boris Johnson did not turn up to the House of Commons to respond to allegations that he attended an illegal party while the UK was in lockdown.

The UK’s leading healthcare union has called an alleged Downing Street ‘bring your own booze’ garden party during lockdown “inexcusable.” 

Unison hit out at the reported party that took place on May 20 2020, saying key workers “who were putting their lives on the line to keep essential services running” weren’t even allowed to comfort their families as the country was in full lockdown. 

“No matter how exhausted and stressed, they weren’t allowed to socialise, let off steam or comfort their families,” said Jon Richards, Unison assistant general secretary.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

“It’s inexcusable that those involved with setting the rules appear to have failed to follow them.”

Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to respond to the allegations that more than 40 Downing Street staff gathered for drinks in the garden of Number 10 following an email invitation from top civil servant Martin Reynolds. 

“After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No.10 garden this evening,” reads the email. 

Advertisement
Advertisement
We need your urgent support

Support The Big Issue Winter Appeal

Big Issue vendors can’t work from home and with severe weather warnings on the cards, they face a very tough and uncertain Winter period ahead.

Labour tried to force Johnson to respond to allegations that he attended the party, but the prime minister did not attend the House of Commons on Tuesday, instead sending a junior minister. 

“Despite having no official engagements listed today, the prime minister has again failed to turn up to parliament and face the music” said Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner.

“His absence speaks volumes. Boris Johnson holds the British public in contempt.

“While key workers toiled round the clock on the frontline, families lost loved ones and the entire country sacrificed our freedoms, the prime minister was partying.

More than 360 people died from Covid on the day Downing Street held a ‘BYOB’ garden party during the first coronavirus lockdown in May 2020.

The Metropolitan Police is being sued by the Good Law Project over its refusal to investigate an alleged Christmas party at Downing Street during lockdown in December 2020.

Advertisement

Support The Big Issue Winter Appeal

Big Issue vendors can’t work from home and with severe weather warnings on the cards, they face a very tough and uncertain Winter period ahead.

Recommended for you

Read All
Government has made 'scant progress' towards gender equality in Westminster
Gender Equality

Government has made 'scant progress' towards gender equality in Westminster

How to get mental health support at work as workloads swell and burnout hits
Employment

How to get mental health support at work as workloads swell and burnout hits

‘The Big Issue got me back on my feet’: Magazine seller turns his life around with new security job
News

‘The Big Issue got me back on my feet’: Magazine seller turns his life around with new security job

‘Just write millions of cheques’: Economists call for cash payments to ease cost of living crisis
cost of living crisis

‘Just write millions of cheques’: Economists call for cash payments to ease cost of living crisis

Most Popular

Read All
Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am
1.

Government branded 'disgrace' after bid to strengthen Sarah Everard inquiry voted down at 12.30am

What are the Kill the Bill protests?
2.

What are the Kill the Bill protests?

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'
3.

Rose Ayling-Ellis: 'Suddenly it became quite cool to be deaf'

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party
4.

The Met Police is being sued for not investigating a Downing Street Christmas party