Boris Johnson letter praising 7-year-old girl for not having a birthday party resurfaces

Boris Johnson letter praising 7-year-old girl for not having a birthday party resurfaces
Boris Johnson Partygate: When will Sue Gray's report be released?
Independent TV

A letter Boris Johnson sent to a child praising her for not having a birthday party during the first national lockdown has well and truly come back to haunt him in light of the latest party allegations.

ITV News reports that Carrie Johnson helped organise a surprise bash for the PM in June 2020 to celebrate his birthday, despite indoor gatherings being illegal at the time. The party lasted 20 to 30 minutes, and up to 30 attendees shared M&S picnic food and cake, while singing happy birthday, reportedly.

It is awkward then, that in March 2020, posting on Twitter, the prime minister shared a letter 7-year--old child Josephine Booth wrote to him about her resolve to not celebrate her birthday during lockdown.

The letter said: “I want to let you know that it is my birthday today but I am staying at home because you asked us to.”

She added: “I think mummy and daddy might have to cancel my party but I don’t mind, because I want everybody to be OK.”

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Johnson praised her in his letter back, writing: "I am glad to hear you are staying home, though I am sorry to hear about your party!

"We have all got to do our bit to protect the NHS and save lives and that is exactly what you are doing, so well done! You are setting a great example."

After the letter resurfaced, people on social media noted the apparent disparity between Josephine's behaviour and the PM's:

But responding to ITV's claims, a No 10 spokesperson said:

“A group of staff working in No 10 that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday. He was there for less than ten minutes.”

And in response to allegations that there was another event in the evening of Johnson's birthday, they added:

“This is totally untrue. In line with the rules at the time the prime minister hosted a small number of family members outside that evening.”

Enjoyed this article? Then click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help it raise through the indy100 rankings and have your say in our news democracy.

The Conversation (0)