Boris Johnson “is going nowhere” and “retains the confidence of the people of this country”, a minister has claimed, as pressure mounts on the PM over Downing Street holding a “bring your own booze” party during the first COVID lockdown.
The prime minister and his wife Carrie are understood to have been among 40 people in attendance at the event in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020, when outdoor gatherings were banned in England.
Answering an urgent question tabled by Labour about the party, Paymaster General Michael Ellis told MPs he has “confidence” in Mr Johnson’s “integrity and honour”.
Facing relentless heckles and laughter from opposition benches in the Commons, Mr Ellis said the PM “takes this matter very seriously” and repeated that an investigation is taking place which will include the gatherings on 15 May and 20 May 2020.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, who had asked the PM to answer the urgent question, said Mr Johnson’s absence from the Commons “speaks volumes”.
“I think his absence speaks volumes as does his smirks on the media, the public have already drawn their own conclusions. He can run but he can’t hide,” Ms Rayner said.