Boris Johnson blasted over ‘indefensible’ lockdown party by ex-Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson and Boris Johnson

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has torn into Boris Johnson over the latest Downing Street party revelations, saying: “It cannot be defended.”

This week saw even more reports of lockdown parties at Downing Street, with claims prime minister Boris Johnson attended a “BYOB” event in the No 10 garden on 20 May, 2020, during the first UK lockdown.

Appearing live on BBC News on Tuesday (11 January), Ruth Davidson said: “I can’t understand, if the prime minister attended, why on earth he thought that was the right thing to do.

“People are furious about this, what they gave up, how difficult it was, what happened to their own lives, and to think that this was going on? It is indefensible, it cannot be defended.”

Addressing comments from Tory MP Michael Fabricant, who said the gatherings were justified because No 10 staff were key workers, Davidson continued: “There were tens of thousands of key workers across the country.

“I don’t think hospital nurses and doctors were in the hospital garden after their shift ended having a glass of rosé.

“I don’t think binmen were playing beer pong back in the garage when they finished their rounds.

“I don’t think that people making sure the country still had food in Tesco or Morrisons or Asda were having a big shindig get together in the loading docks when their shift ended.”

Ruth Davidson said the public will ‘never forgive’ Downing Street

Ruth Davidson added: “If No 10 doesn’t understand anger that is out there then they’re going to find out that anger pretty soon in the next couple of days.

“Everybody has some form of sacrifice, or somebody important in their life that gave a huge sacrifice.

“They will never forgive whatever went on, because it it just makes a mockery of this idea that we were doing a national endeavor to try and keep each other safe.”

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is currently conducting an internal investigation into the reports of lockdown parties at Downing Street, and is expected to report back soon.

In December, a leaked video showed No 10 staff laughing at a mock press conference on 22 December, 2020, where they practiced fielding questions about an alleged Downing Street Christmas party.

At that time, the UK was under strict lockdown rules, with many preparing to spend Christmas alone and those in hospitals unable to have visitors as they passed away.

While Johnson has emphatically denied that such a party took place, and even more emphatically denied that he attended a party, fresh allegations have hit the prime minister this week.

An email, published by ITV on Monday (10 January), showed that Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds invited 100 staff members to “socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden” on 20 May, 2020.

It’s been reported that the prime minister and his wife both attended the event.

Johnson and No 10 have opted not to comment on the “bring your own booze” party, which appears to have taken place when restrictions stipulated that only two people could meet each other outdoors at a time.