MPs and the public are demanding answers from Boris Johnson over whether he attended a drinks event in the No 10 garden during lockdown.

The Prime Minister will appear at Prime Minister's Questions at noon - his first public appearance since details of the May 2020 event emerged.

So far he has declined to say whether he attended the gathering, but there have been claims that he and his wife Carrie were present.

Ahead of PMQs, City of Durham MP Mary Kelly Foy tells The Northern Echo why she feels Mr Johnson MUST go.

The Northern Echo:

So here we are again.

Now with more outrageous evidence of Downing Street partying while the rest of the country were locked down. The Prime Minister is again under pressure and rightly so.

You could forgive me for feeling dubious when I asked a question of the PM at PMQs on 8th December, when he said that he had done ‘everything he could’ for the people of County Durham after Storm Arwen.

The mistruths and drama just seem to follow Mr Johnson around however from further evidence exposed over the last 36 hours it seems that Boris Johnson may have actually lied to Parliament about his involvement in parties – parties that are now being investigated.

On 20th May 2020, a ‘bring your own booze’ party was held in the garden of 10 Downing Street. We know this event took place as an email invite has been leaked to the press.

While Tories defend the indefensible, the inboxes of MPs are once more being filled with heart-breaking testimonies of those who were unable to say goodbye to their loved ones while Number 10, and the PM, partied.

We also know that the party invitation was sent to 100 people during a time when ordinary people were told to “stay alert and control the virus”.

That is a kick in the teeth to every person in the City of Durham and beyond who was unable to visit a friend or family member in hospital, meet a new baby, hug a relative in a care home (I could only see my mam through the window of hers) or who couldn’t go to a funeral of a loved one because they adhered to the restrictions.

One constituent told me how they were “sickened” by the PM’s actions in the days after their parent’s funeral.

I was also told "It is a spit in the face of each of those families, trampling on the graves of the tens of thousands of people who lost their lives during that period. He is totally unfit to lead this country. If he had a shred of empathy for those families, he would do the right thing and stand down."

In May 2020 I was receiving emails from teachers concerned about an unsafe return to schools with little to no PPE available, school staff feeling headteachers would be made scapegoats for school safety and community health, people struggling to pay rent because of loss of employment, and more people unable to see loved ones.

One constituent said their parent’s “health is so poor each postponed visit is a missed opportunity at this stage of their life.”

Constituents were saddened to be missing family get togethers to celebrate important milestones, sacrificing time with the people they loved to follow the rules that the PM had set out – rules that were once again peddled out merely an hour before the party took place by then Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, who stated that people should avoid meeting in groups of more than two outside.

The Met Police even tweeted on the very same day that people could enjoy the hottest day of the year as long as they were “on their own, with people they live with, or it was just them and one other person” – surely by disobeying the Met with such flagrant arrogance a police investigation is justified?

Or is the PM simply untouchable in the eyes of the law?

As healthcare professionals baked in hospitals wearing full PPE, risking their lives to save those of our loved ones, the PM and his colleagues decided they were above them and everyone else.

They weren’t watching people die, they weren’t developing PTSD from the trauma they were witnessing day in day out, they were able to carry on regardless and believe they were above the rules and guidance which they set out for the many.

Yesterday I received a response to a letter I sent to the PM in December 2021.

My letter was sent following a constituent contacting me with the heart-breaking account of the loss of his wife at the same time as Downing Street supposedly partied into the night on 18th December last year. Yet again, breaking their own guidance.

It wasn’t a response from the PM, but one of his ministers and there was no personal apology from the PM.

Boris Johnson doesn’t know what empathy is, he is an arrogant egomaniac who will never learn while those around him allow him to bend the rules when it suits him and his closest aides.

The Government is in meltdown and the solution is clear to me – Boris Johnson’s time as PM is up, he MUST go.


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