Boris Johnson Partygate: When will Sue Gray's report be released?
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.”
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."
Josephine sets a great example to us all by postponing her birthday party until we have sent coronavirus packing.\n\nTogether we can beat this. In the meantime let's all wish her happy birthday (twice) whilst washing our hands. #BeLikeJosephine #StayHomeSaveLives https://twitter.com/LocksHeathCC/status/1241103836292530176\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/yl7uxe9lhh
It is a pity @BorisJohnson did not postpone his own birthday party. Prime Minister you have lost the right to govern. Show some dignity and respect by doing the right thing. Resign.https://twitter.com/borisjohnson/status/1241348429546217475\u00a0\u2026
Josephine protected the nation and cancelled her 7th birthday party because she wanted "everybody to be ok".\n\nThe Prime Minister did not. He had cake whilst dozens sang happy birthday to him at a party for his 56th birthday.https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson/status/1241348429546217475\u00a0\u2026
— Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK (@Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK)
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.”
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