Boris Johnson warned 'you can run but you can’t hide' as he skips questioning over No 10 party 7 months ago

Boris Johnson warned 'you can run but you can’t hide' as he skips questioning over No 10 party

The PM failed to attend the Commons after a leaked email revealed yet another party in lockdown

Angela Rayner has eviscerated Boris Johnson in the House of Commons after the PM failed to front up and answer an urgent question over claims he attended lockdown drinks in the Downing Street garden.

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Labour's deputy leader told parliament on Tuesday that Johnson "can run, but can't hide" from the allegations that intensified overnight after ITV revealed a leaked email showing over 100 members of staff were invited to the party on 20 May 2020 when the UK was subject to stringent lockdown measures which allowed them to only meet one person outdoors.

Johnson sent Paymaster-General Michael Ellis to field questions from furious MPs.

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Rayner said Johnson's absence was "incredibly disappointing, but not unsurprising" given he did not have any "official engagements".

She continued: “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.”

The UK had been in its first lockdown when Downing Street staff were allegedly invited by the PM's Principal Private Secretary to "socially distanced drinks" in the Number 10 garden.

The e-mail sent on behalf of senior civil servant Martin Reynolds, invited 100 Number 10 staff for a little get-together. It read: “After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of this lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening.

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"Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

Around 40 staff are thought to have attended, while the rest of the country were unable to leave their homes "without a reasonable excuse" and banned from meeting any more than one person they didn't live with outside.

The revelations have sparked public outrage, particularly from people who were unable to attend funerals of close relatives due to Johnson's strict stay-at-home policy.

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Speaking on Tuesday afternoon in the Commons, DUP MP Jim Shannon broke down crying while remembering the passing of his mother-in-law during the first lockdown.

He said she was forced to die alone, while Downing Street partied.

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On Monday night, the Metropolitan police said it had made contact with the government, following reports of a breach of coronavirus legislation.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said last night: “The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the health protection regulations at Downing Street on May 20, 2020, and is in contact with the Cabinet Office.”

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