The Co-op on London’s the Strand has been hit with a number of joke reviews after it was alleged that Downing Street staff popped to the supermarket to fill “a suitcase of wine” for a lockdown rule-breaking party in April 2021.
But at least people could find some humour in an allegation in the story made by a source, claiming that someone was sent to the Co-op on with a suitcase to fill it with bottles of wine and bring it back to the party.
The Google Reviews of Co-op on the Strand have started trickling in. The one immediately before these is a complain… https://t.co/3kvnIe2BcW
Another said: “Filled an entire suitcase of booze here a few months back...highly recommended.”
A third joker wrote: “Great place to buy wine for lockdown parties.”
While another said: “I visited the Strand Co-Op store during the second national lockdown, I remember it vividly as it was the day before Prince Philip’s funeral that was on TV.
“One colleague suggested we get drunk together, as that’s what all the rest of the departments in our organisation were doing at the time, so they sent me to the store along the Strand with a suitcase.
“The staff were very, friendly and helpful, and the kind lady, who had earlier thrown someone out for not wearing a mask, helped me pack the wine bottles into the suitcase, and wished me luck on my journey back to the work meeting.”
The parties were reportedly for James Slack, Johnson’s director of communications, and a photographer. Around 30 people attended the combined events, which merged during the night. Johnson was not at Downing Street at the time, according to reports.
Meanwhile, there was music, alcohol and a source claims a member of staff even broke Wilf Johnson’s swing.
Responding to the allegations a Downing Street spokesperson said: “On this individual’s last day he gave a farewell speech to thank each team for the work they had done to support him, both those who had to be in the office for work and on a screen for those working from home.”
Slack also issued an apology for his role in the evening.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Prime Minister said Downing Street had said sorry to the Palace following the reports.
The spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and No 10 has apologised to the Palace.
“You heard from the PM this week, he’s recognised No 10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for things we did not get right.”
Asked why No 10 had apologised rather than Boris Johnson himself, the spokesman said: “Well, again, the Prime Minister said earlier misjudgments have been made and it’s right people apologise, as the PM did earlier this week.
“It remains the case that I can’t prejudge the inquiry, which you know is ongoing, which has been led by Sue Gray, but we acknowledge the significant public anger, it was regrettable this took place a time of national mourning.”
Indy100 has contacted the supermarket to comment on this story.