Boris Johnson Letter To Seven-Year-Old Over Birthday Party Resurfaces Amid Fresh Partygate Claims
Boris Johnson was reportedly thrown a surprise birthday party inside Downing Street in July 2020, prompting fresh calls on him to step down over the ongoing scandal.
According to ITV News, the party was organised by his wife, Carrie Johnson, and included about 30 guests in attendance who had food and cake from M&S and sang happy birthday to the prime minister.
The latest gathering took place on June 19, 2020, during which time socialising indoors was strictly banned, while meeting one other household outdoors was permitted.
In response to the claims, Downing Street said the event had involved a group of staff gathering 'briefly' in the Cabinet room, and was only attended by the prime minister for 10 minutes. It denied ITV's reports that a second evening gathering had taken place in the prime minister's private flat, in what would have been a further breach of the rules, saying instead that they celebrated in the garden outside.
The latest allegations have put even further pressure on Johnson, who currently awaiting the outcome of a report in 'partygate' by civil servant Sue Gray that could determine the fate of his premiership. The birthday party is understood to have already been known to Gray, whose report is expected to be published within days.
As MPs on both sides of the house demand Johnson's resignation, and with a challenge to his leadership appearing more and more likely, public anger towards the prime minister is also growing, with many people taking to social media to accuse him of hypocrisy.
In the wake of the latest revelations, a tweet from Johnson has resurfaced in which the prime minister shared a letter he sent in March 2020 to a seven-year-old girl named Josephine who had cancelled her own birthday celebrations, urging others to follow her example.
Josephine sets a great example to us all by postponing her birthday party until we have sent coronavirus packing.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 21, 2020
Together we can beat this. In the meantime let's all wish her happy birthday (twice) whilst washing our hands. #BeLikeJosephine #StayHomeSaveLives https://t.co/xmDOw60hhV pic.twitter.com/yl7uxe9lhh
'I am glad to hear you are staying at home, though I am sorry to hear about your party,' he wrote in the letter. 'We have all got to do our bit to protect the NHS and save lives... you are setting a great example.'
'Josephine sets a great example to us all by postponing her birthday party until we have sent coronavirus packing #BeLikeJosephine,' the prime minister tweeted.
Following the latest allegations, Labour leader Keir Starmer has reiterated his call on Johnson to resign, calling him a 'national distraction' who has 'got to go'.
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