Sir Keir Starmer has said that the reports of several alleged parties taking place at Downing Street whilst lockdowns were in place has impacted on the public's mental health.

Stories of alleged parties have continued to come out this week after James Slack, Boris Johnson's former director of communications, apologised for a gathering that took place the day before Prince Phillip's funeral.

Additionally, 'Wine Time Fridays' were allegedly events that were held regularly at Downing Street, even during periods were tough Covid restrictions were in place.

The Labour leader was fielding questions after a speech at the Fabian Society conference in London when he brought up the topic.

He said: “I think, by the way, the scandal of partgate, for want of a better word… what’s happened in recent weeks, where it has become obvious that while the vast majority of the British public were obeying the laws the Government made, the Government and the Prime Minister were partying in Downing Street.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson allegedly encouraged Downing Street staff to have 'wine time Fridays'

“I think that has added to mental health stress because so many people are now asking themselves, ‘Why on earth did I do that then, while they were doing what they were doing?’.

“So I think that, before the pandemic we had mental health issues which have got worse during the pandemic in greater ways than we’ve really understood, particularly in young people."

The Northern Echo: Keir Starmer during his speech to the Fabian Society (PA)Keir Starmer during his speech to the Fabian Society (PA)

Starmer also argued that the mental health strain may have impacted on NHS workers.

He said: “I think they are greater in work forces – I think in places like the NHS where the strain has been huge, we’ve probably got backed-up mental health problems.

“And I think the last few weeks in relation to partygate has just made the situation worse, which is why it is so important we make those concrete offers in relation to mental health.”