Live Covid-19 updates as Boris Johnson faces questioning in House of Commons over lockdown parties

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Leeds east MP Richard Burgon has slammed Boris Johnson after emails of his senior aide inviting Number 10 staff to garden drinks during the first lockdown were leaked.

ITV reported yesterday (Monday) the Prime Minister’s private secretary, Martin Reynolds, invited more than 100 Downing Street employees to an evening gathering in spring 2020, despite outdoor group gatherings being banned in England.

Labour says it has been granted an urgent question in the House of Commons today on the latest revelations.

Lockdown measures were imposed in March 2020 in a bid to stop the spread of the virus and it wasn’t until June 1, 2020, that people were allowed to meet in groups of six outdoors.

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The Prime Minister is now facing criticism of having “one rule for them and another for everyone else.”

Mr Burgon tweeted: “So now we know. While a Minister was in the Covid press briefing telling people to stick to the rules and to meetings of just 2 people, Boris Johnson’s Private Secretary was emailing Downing Street staff inviting them to group drinks. One rule for them. Another for everyone else.”

The SNP’s Westminster leader said the Prime Minister “must come clean and admit whether he attended, or was aware of” what the MP described as a “Covid rule-breaking party” and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the event was a “kick in the teeth for everyone who has sacrificed so much during the pandemic”.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson has consistently shown that he has no regard for the rules he puts in place for the rest of us. He is trying to get officials to take the fall for his own mistakes, but he sets the tone for the way Downing Street and the rest of the Government operates.

“At the time this party took place, key workers on the frontline were working round the clock to keep us all safe, people suffered loneliness and loss in unimaginably tough circumstances and for the majority of the country, our freedom was limited to a daily walk.

“Labour has welcomed Sue Gray’s inquiry, but we need confirmation that this latest revelation, and any other parties not yet revealed by press investigations, will be covered by her probe.”

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