MPs respond to lockdown drinks party scandal

South Cambs MP Anthony Browne and North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald

South Cambs MP Anthony Browne and North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald have given their views on the Downing Street drinks party scandal - Credit: The office of Anthony Browne/Nikki Powell

MPs have reacted to the revelation that Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended a gathering in the garden of 10 Downing Street during the first coronavirus lockdown.

The PM apologised for attending the event, in May 2020, after leaked emails revealed that staff were invited to 'bring their own booze' to the gathering.

Conservative MP for South Cambs Anthony Browne said he was neither aware of nor attended this event, or any others which took place at Downing Street while restrictions prevented the public from mixing in groups.

Mr Browne said: “I understand the significant public concern at these events, which I share.

"I’m glad to see the Prime Minister explain and apologise for events within Number 10, and to take personal responsibility for them. It goes without saying that those who make rules need to abide by them.

“While the Prime Minister’s repeated apologies go some way towards easing my exasperation at these events, which I know is shared by many constituents, we are also in the middle of a formal investigation into a number of events at Number 10.

"It is frustrating, but we must await the outcome of that process. I expect the Prime Minister to show leadership in this matter and to continue to cooperate with all enquires.”

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North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald said: "I was in the Chamber of the House of Commons when the Prime Minister apologised for the event in Downing Street where staff were allowed to drink in the garden and where he thanked them for their hard work.

"He accepted responsibility that it should have been dealt with differently and I am glad he apologised.

"The pandemic has been cruel to so many people and I am listening to views from constituents, local Conservative Party officers and members and am also waiting to see the full details in the Gray Inquiry Report."