Government garden party: Sheffield Conservative MP 'shares anger and upset' of constituents after Downing Street party revelations

A Conservative South Yorkshire MP says that she ‘shares the anger and upset’ of her constituents after an email inviting Downing Street staff to a garden party during lockdown measures was leaked to ITV.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 5:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 5:38 pm

The email, sent by the Prime Minister’s Principal private secretary to more than a hundred members of Number 10 staff, was sent just a week after people were allowed to meet one person from another household outdoors.

Gatherings of more than two people from separate households were still banned, and people could not visit the homes of friends and family unless for childcare or medical reasons.

Read More

Read More
Downing Street drinks party: the sacrifices Sheffield made while PM allegedly br...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said that she "shares the anger and upset" of her constituents.

ITV news report that around 40 staff attended the party in the garden of Number 10 on May 20, 2020 – including the Prime Minister and his wife.

An inquiry into the allegations is being led by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said that she ‘shares the anger and upset’ of her constituents, and expects anyone found to have broken the rules to ‘face the consequences’.

“These rules placed people across the country in incredibly distressing and difficult situations, and we all made at times intolerable sacrifices to comply,” added the MP.

“I am glad there is an independent inquiry by a respected senior civil servant into the truth of what has gone on.

“I hope that inquiry concludes soon, and I would expect anyone who is shown to have broken the rules to face the consequences.

“As the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge I will continue to work hard for all our towns and villages.”

Labour MPs react to the lockdown garden party

Labour MPs across the region have reacted with fury to the news, with South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis slamming the PM for being ‘unfit to serve in public office’.

Mayor of South Yorkshire and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis said: “As Barnsley people were saying goodbye to dying relatives; Boris Johnson and his mates were boozing in Downing Street.”

“People who have done the right thing throughout the pandemic are utterly incandescent at these disgraceful revelations.

“Johnson is fundamentally unfit to serve in public office.

“Barnsley has borne the brunt of this government’s inept handling of the pandemic.

“Our businesses have faced intolerable pressures. Livelihoods have been ruined, and almost 1,000 residents have lost their lives.”

Gill Furniss, Labour MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough said she was ‘utterly disgusted’ by the reports.

“This is beyond insulting to everyone who made huge personal sacrifices to protect each other and to those who sadly lost loved ones,” she added.

Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central’s Labour MP said that the PM is ‘not fit for public office’, adding that he is ‘treating the British people with contempt’.

“As everyone else was following the rules he made last summer, he was breaking them. While others were doing the right thing and unable to see their families, often in heart-breaking circumstances, he was partying.

“Now he’s hiding behind the inquiry into his parties. But we don’t need an inquiry to find out what he was doing, we just need him to give honest answers.

“He broke the rules and now he’s laughing at people as he dodges responsibility.

“He’s not fit for public office.”