Hucknall MP remains silent after Prime Minister admits attending Downing Street drinks party during lockdown

Hucknall MP Mark Spencer has remained silent for now after Boris Johnson apologised for being at Downing Street party at height of Covid lockdown.

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 4:01 pm

The Dispatch has contacted Mr Spencer (Con), the Government chief whip, for comment after Mr Johnson’s dramatic admission and apology at Prime Minister’s Questions this lunchtime.

Some Hucknall residents have also taken to social media, posting on Mr Spencer’s Facebook page, to asking if he had also been invited to the party and whether he had attended?

Speaking to MPs, Mr Johnson admitted he had been at event in the garden of No 10 on the evening of May 20 when the country was in lockdown and the rules in England stated that you could only meet one other person from another household outdoors, with advice to remain two metres apart.

Hucknall MP Mark Spencer, the Government's chief whip, has so far not commented on Boris Johnson's admission that he attended a drinks party at No 10 during lockdown in May 2020

Larger gatherings with people from other households were not allowed, apart from a few exceptions, such as funerals, or where the gathering was essential for work purposes

Schools, non-essential shops, hospitality venues and hairdressers remained closed.

But Mr Johnson and his wife did attend a gathering in the garden of No 10 that evening for 25 minutes at which invitees were told to ‘bring their own booze’.

Mr Johnson said in the Commons he had considered the gathering ‘a work event’

Bulwell MP Alex Norris had earlier called on Boris Johnson to 'come clean' about the allegations

He said: "Number 10 is a big department with the garden as an extension of the office - which has been in constant use because of the role of fresh air in stopping the virus.

"And when I went into that garden just after 6pm on May 20, 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event.

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"But with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside, I should have found some other way to thank them and I should have recognised that even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way.”

Mr Johnson faced furious calls to resign from many Opposition MPs, in the Commons, including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and the SNP leader in Westminster, Ian Blackwell.

Mr Starmer called Mr Johnson ‘a pathetic figure of a man who had finally run out of road’ and said his excuse that he ‘didn’t know he was at a party’ was ‘an insult to the British people’.

Hours before the Commons drama, Bulwell MP Alex Norris (Lab) had emanded Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘come clean’ about the allegations surrounding him.

Posting on his Facebook page Mr Norris said: “No more hiding behind junior ministers, no more hiding behind inquiries and the police.

"He must be honest and tell us if he was at the ‘bring your own booze’ party on the 20 May 2020.

"The dishonesty must end.”

And the day before, he also posted: “On the same day people weren’t allowed to say goodbye to dying loved ones, Boris Johnson was hosting another party at No.10.

"Communities in Nottingham North have sacrificed so much the last two years, it’s shameful they're being treated with this level of disrespect.”