Boris Johnson tells MPs he will not resign over Downing Street parties
A tweeted letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanking a 7-year-old for "postponing her birthday party until we have sent coronavirus packing" has resurfaced - amid claims he had his own bash during the first lockdown.
ITV News claimed on Monday that his wife Carrie helped organize the get-together on June 19 2020, and up to 30 people attended.
And while Downing Street has tried to explain away previous gatherings as work events, one of the alleged guests at this party was interior designer Lulu Lytle - who was renovating Johnson's flat at the time.
Johnson had asked the public to "show restraint and respect the rules" just nine days earlier.He reportedly received a cake, and his wife led staff in a chorus of happy birthday.
Downing Street says the prime minister only attended for 10 minutes, but ITV News claims it was up to 30 minutes. On June 10, days before this alleged party, Johnson said: "I urge everyone to continue to show restraint and respect the rules which are designed to keep us all safe. It's only because of the restraint that everyone, you all have shown so far, that we are able to move gradually out of this lockdown."
Awkwardly, just a few months earlier Johnson took to his Twitter to share his appreciation at a young girl postponing her party, with a hand-written letter attached.
"You are setting a great example. We are working round the clock to keep people safe, and if we work together, we can send coronavirus packing," Johnson wrote, in part, in the letter to Josephine.
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
June 2020. My family have not been able to see a dying relative or hold his funeral. I haven't seen my mother, then in the last stages of life. \n\nMy kids have been off school at a critical moment in their education. \n\nAnd Boris Johnson is holding a boozy birthday with 30 guests.
MY GOODNESS\u2026IS THERE A WEEK WHEN BORIS JOHNSON DIDN\u2019T HAVE A PARTY??? \n\nBoris Johnson 'had lockdown birthday party' when indoor gatherings were bannedhttps://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-had-birthday-party-26036843\u00a0\u2026
Senior civil servant, Sue Gray, is currently finalising her report into allegations of multiple rule-breaking parties in Downing Street during the pandemic.
Her report is due to be published next week. Her inquiry has been ongoing since early December.
A Number 10 spokesman 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."