Advertisement
News

Healthcare union blasts ‘inexcusable’ No.10 BYOB party as Boris Johnson dodges scrutiny

Boris Johnson did not turn up to the House of Commons to respond to allegations that he attended an illegal party while the UK was in lockdown.

The UK’s leading healthcare union has called an alleged Downing Street ‘bring your own booze’ garden party during lockdown “inexcusable.” 

Unison hit out at the reported party that took place on May 20 2020, saying key workers “who were putting their lives on the line to keep essential services running” weren’t even allowed to comfort their families as the country was in full lockdown. 

“No matter how exhausted and stressed, they weren’t allowed to socialise, let off steam or comfort their families,” said Jon Richards, Unison assistant general secretary.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

“It’s inexcusable that those involved with setting the rules appear to have failed to follow them.”

Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure to respond to the allegations that more than 40 Downing Street staff gathered for drinks in the garden of Number 10 following an email invitation from top civil servant Martin Reynolds. 

“After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No.10 garden this evening,” reads the email. 

Advertisement
Advertisement
Support The Big Issue

Give your local vendor a hand up and buy the magazine

Each of our vendors buy their copies of the mag for £1.50 each, selling them for £3 and keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor.

Labour tried to force Johnson to respond to allegations that he attended the party, but the prime minister did not attend the House of Commons on Tuesday, instead sending a junior minister. 

“Despite having no official engagements listed today, the prime minister has again failed to turn up to parliament and face the music” said Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner.

“His absence speaks volumes. Boris Johnson holds the British public in contempt.

“While key workers toiled round the clock on the frontline, families lost loved ones and the entire country sacrificed our freedoms, the prime minister was partying.

More than 360 people died from Covid on the day Downing Street held a ‘BYOB’ garden party during the first coronavirus lockdown in May 2020.

The Metropolitan Police is being sued by the Good Law Project over its refusal to investigate an alleged Christmas party at Downing Street during lockdown in December 2020.

It can be hard to keep on top of all of the revelations, what with there being so many, so here’s a list of them – or the ones we know about anyway.

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
12 Black Britons everyone should know about
Social Justice

12 Black Britons everyone should know about

'People will starve and freeze' if government U-turns on promise to increase benefits
Cost of living crisis

'People will starve and freeze' if government U-turns on promise to increase benefits

Everything you needed to know about volunteering to get stuck in
Volunteering

Everything you needed to know about volunteering to get stuck in

Landlords set to pass on mortgage rate hikes to tenants
Renting

Landlords set to pass on mortgage rate hikes to tenants

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

To mark our new Arctic Monkeys exclusive interview, we’ve picked out some of our best band and musician interviews from the past, featuring Arctic Monkeys (2018), When Jarvis met Bowie, The Specials, Debbie Harry and more. Sign up to our mailing list to receive your free digital copy.