Activism

Cleaners to protest outside Downing Street after Sue Gray revelations of 'repugnant' treatment

Boris Johnson has apologised after the Partygate report found "multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff".

Downing Street cleaners

A union representing Downing Street cleaners said there was a "culture of disrespect".

Cleaners and security guards are planning to protest outside Downing Street on Friday after Sue Gray’s report exposed “repugnant” treatment of staff in Number 10.

They will gather outside the gates of Downing Street at 5.30pm to protest what the United Voices of the World (UVW) union called a “culture of disrespect” in government buildings and offices across London.

Gray’s report, which was released in full on Wednesday, found: “I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable.”

The report’s revelations forced Boris Johnson to personally apologise to Downing Street staff, calling their treatment “repugnant”.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “The treatment and mockery doled out to cleaning and security staff that has now been exposed is beyond shameful.”

UVW represents outsourced cleaners at the Ministry of Justice, who are fighting for full sick pay.

Florencio Hortago, a cleaner who has worked at the Ministry of Justice for 18 years said: “Cleaners are disrespected on a daily basis, even working for the government. When the pandemic hit we didn’t have sick pay.”

Petros Elia, general secretary for UVW, said the union was not surprised by the revelations in the Sue Gray report.

“It is outrageous to have rowdy and illegal parties during the pandemic but to then expect cleaners to mop up after you and to pay them, as well as porters and security guards poverty wages, and deny them full sick pay is abhorrent,” Elia said.

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