People on social media are now sharing where they were on the day Downing Street had an alleged ‘cheese and wine party’ during lockdown last year.
On Sunday an image leaked to the Guardian shows Boris Johnson with his wife Carrie and staff in the Downing Street garden.
The picture was published after Downing Street denied last week that there was a social event on Friday 15th May 2020.
Social mixing at the time was limited to two households outdoors at a distance of at least 2 metres.
Some of the harrowing stories people are now sharing on social media in response to the picture includes doctors and nurses sharing a minute’s silence in memory of patients who died from Covid-19 and mothers who had to give birth alone.
Dr Ajay M Verma posted a side-by-side picture of hospital staff in a minute's silence with the picture of the alleged 'party'. He tweeted: "On Friday 15th May 2020 at 1pm we held a minute’s silence on our ward (and throughout our hospital) in memory of those who died from Covid - little did we know that the PM & friends were enjoying a garden party that same afternoon."
A mum shared her experience giving birth without her family or friends present. She said: "May 2020, I laboured alone. Gave birth and was left with a newborn alone. No family. No friends. Not even a health visitor. No baby groups. No support. Nothing.
"Of course many had it far worse with unimaginable loss and grief, but it was a tough, lonely and worrying time."
Another mum shared a similar story, writing: "Couple of weeks before this, I gave birth completely alone.
"Couple of weeks after this, I stayed in hospital for 5 nights and couldn’t see any of my children.
People were dying and couldn’t be with their families. "
One person shared how their own mum died alone in a care home in May, during the time when the event captured in the picture is said to have taken place. "My mother died in May 2020. From covid. Alone. In a care home. In meltdown. They told me by email. #downingstreetparty"
A woman also shared a selfie showing her exhaustion after working on a ward in a hospital during lockdown last year. "This was me in May 2020 - exhausted, emotionally and physically spent. I don’t have words for how I feel looking at Boris and his cheese and wine party that was going on at the same time. Seriously what does it take to get the Tories out?!"
Downing Street responded to claims Boris Johnson attended a ‘party’ in May last year for 'about 15 minutes' after the Guardian and the Independent published their findings from a joint investigation.
The investigation found ‘about 20’ staff allegedly drank wine and ate pizza after a press conference.
A spokesperson said the prime minister and staff had been working in the garden and denied the gathering in the picture was a party.
They told the Guardian: “In the summer months Downing Street staff regularly use the garden for some meetings. On 15 May 2020 the prime minister held a series of meetings throughout the afternoon, including briefly with the then health and care secretary and his team in the garden following a press conference.
“The prime minister went to his residence shortly after 7pm. A small number of staff required to be in work remained in the Downing Street garden for part of the afternoon and evening.”
Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab responded to the backlash on BBC Breakfast on Monday, saying: “It wasn’t a social occasion. It was staff having a drink after a busy set of work meetings and the pressures of the day.”
The picture of the event arrives two weeks after a video of Boris Johnson's then press secretary, Allegra Stratton, was released online, showing senior Downing Street staff joking about their alleged 'party'.
Stratton resigned the day after the video's release, which prompted people to share their harrowing stories of not being able to see their relatives at Christmas last year when the party allegedly took place.
- People Are Sharing What They Did In May 2020 After Downing Street 'Garden Party' Scandal
- Sue Gray's Downing Street Report Published; Government Accused Of 'Failure Of Leadership'
- Brits Shocked After Finding Out How Much Boris Was Fined For Downing Street Party
- Boris And Carrie Johnson Are Being Fined Amid Report Over Parties At Downing Street