Health Minister takes aim at Boris Johnson amid allegations of Covid rule-breaking party
The Welsh Government’s Health Minister has taken aim at Boris Johnson following allegations of a party at Downing Street that broke Covid-19 rules.
Eluned Morgan, has suggested that the UK Prime Minister was “simply not following his own rules” following the emergence of a Downing Street e-mail that invited staff to “socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden” during the first lockdown in May 2020.
Boris Johnson has refused to deny that he was at the party and appeared to laugh when he was asked about it by a journalist.
Morgan pointed to the “sacrifices that so many people in Wales made at that time” of the first lockdown and described it at “the most acute time in the whole crisis”.
She said the allegation “defies belief” and suggested that Johnson has “failed” to give “clear answers” to “very simple questions”, adding that the “public deserve to know what was actually going on”.
The minister also argued that the “authority” of the UK Prime Minister has been undermined, and suggested it has “led to a situation where he is not able to undertake the advice” and impose fresh Covid restrictions.
Social mixing was banned in England in May 2020, apart from with one other person from another household outdoors.
The email about the party was sent from Martin Reynolds, the principal private secretary. According to ITV News, it said: “Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”
‘If we remember’
Eluned Morgan told a press conference: “Well if we remember back to what was happening in May 2020 it was about the most acute time in the whole crisis. I just think about the sacrifices that so many people in Wales made at that time.
“The sacrifices of not being able to say goodbye face to face to loves ones in hospitals, the sacrifices people made in terms of not being able to leave their homes, not being able to see loved ones, not being able to reach out for the support that so many people wanted at that time, and to have that juxtaposed with a situation where within Downing Street a party was going on really defies belief.
“I do hope that the Prime Minister will do his duty and report to the House of Commons this afternoon. It is his responsibility to lead front he front and to lead through example.
“I’m afraid we’ve seen once again that he has failed to give some very clear answers on some very simple answers and I think the public deserve to know what was actually going on and how it is that he can’t recollect the situation where he was, certainly involved in some way by the sound of things in parties that were going on.
“I think it undermines the authority of the Prime Minister and has possibly led to a situation where he is not able to undertake the advice that, certainly we’ve been having from our advisors in terms of being able to bring in new restrictions because clearly people are likely to be less willing to follow the example set by the Prime Minister who was simply not following his own rules.”