Clive Bull 1am - 4am
Ed Miliband: Boris Johnson needs to justify No 10 parties, he can't hide behind inquiry
11 January 2022, 09:09
Labour's Ed Miliband has said he was "gobsmacked" over claims one of Boris Johnson's aides organised a "bring your own booze" Downing Street drinks party during the first lockdown.
The conversation comes as Boris Johnson faces calls to explain a leaked email inviting Downing Street staff to a "bring your own booze" gathering during Lockdown in 2020.
It is understood 40 people attended the event in the Number 10 garden, including Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie.
"You were done for with eating a bacon sandwich, this bloke seems to be able to party all night and nobody gives a damn," LBC's Nick Ferrari quipped.
But, Mr Miliband said he did think people would care.
"The reason I was gobsmacked is that I could not believe it had really happened," the Labour MP told LBC.
"It was a party, it was an organised party, none of these excuses that it was just a bunch of people in the office having a drink, it was organised!"
Branding the party "clearly in flagrant breach of the rules," Mr Miliband said the Prime Minister could not claim ignorance of the rules, "he told a member of the public a few days later if she saw someone in a park who was consorting with more than one person from outside their household to report them to the police!"
Referencing an investigation by senior official Sue Gray, the Labour MP said the Prime Minister could not hide behind any inquiry.
"If I went to a party, Nick, I know I went to a party. I don't need Sue Gray to tell me if I went to the party, I don't need an inquiry to tell me that I went to the party.
"He's got to tell us, did he go to the party, how can he possibly justify it, how can he justify his statements in the House of Commons that he broke no rules, that all the rules were followed!"
Branding the culture in Downing Street as "rotten", Mr Miliband said the fact this party was allowed to happen seemed "unimaginable" to him.
The Metropolitan Police has said it is in touch with the Cabinet Office over the reports of a gathering which could have broken lockdown rules.