Boris Johnson: Starmer responds to birthday party allegations

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Peter Kyle, 51, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was seething over the recent revelation, declaring it “inexcusable” while appearing on Monday night’s BBC Two’s Newsnight programme. Reports have indicated the Prime Minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, organised the bash on June 19 around 2pm.

Up to 30 people are thought to have attended, including interior designer Lulu Lytle who was renovating Mr Johnson’s flat.

There are also reports an evening gathering of family friends took place upstairs in the PMs residence.

In June 2020 social gatherings indoors were banned with pubs and nonessential retail closed.

Mr Kyle said this was part of a premeditated “pattern” at Downing Street.

“It comes on the back of all the other activity – the DJs and suitcases of booze that were being brought into Downing Street. It’s part of a pattern.

“It was a birthday party where they got cake and sang a song.

“This is completely and utterly inexcusable and the fact that they are hunkering down makes it even worse.

“Upstairs was a decorator spending £140,000 of other people’s money invited down to a party that was happening when specifically, the law said only two people could meet for a business meeting and there should be no social activity at all.” 

Mr Kyle also pointed out that his family like many others, including the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family, had made great personal sacrifices during the lockdowns.

“My dad had his 80th birthday during lockdown. What I would have given for just 10 minutes face to face to give him a hug or even wave at him from the garden because I wasn’t even allowed to travel.

“My family stuck to the rules, every other family stuck to the rules, every other family stuck to the rules.

“The Royal Family stuck to the rules why couldn’t Boris Johnson?” 

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Asked by presenter Kirsty Wark what impact reports of the birthday party might have on Sue Gray’s forthcoming report on the Downing Street parties, Mr Kyle said it made Ms Gray’s task easier.

He said: “She could do this in one sentence ‘they were partying all the time, they were at it all the time and they were at it pretty much everywhere.

“We know that parties were happening in the garden, parties were happening in the flat, we know parties were happening in the cabinet room.

“The Prime Minister missed five COBRA meetings going into Covid.

“I wrote to him on March 31, 2020, telling him what was happening in care homes, I never even got a response.”

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