Brits share images of family they couldn't see at same time PM 'party'

‘This is MY May 2020, Boris’: Furious Brits share images of the loved ones they couldn’t see face-to-face – taken at same time PM held a cheese and wine ‘party’ in Downing Street

  • Boris Johnson seen sitting at table with two people in Downing Street garden
  • A further 13 people were seen with bottles of alcohol on nearby table and lawn 
  • Picture was taken on May 15, 2020, while UK was under lockdown restrictions
  • Furious Britons have shared pictures on social media from the same date
  • They show police patrolling parks and families seeing relatives through windows

Angry Britons have revealed how they could only see loved ones through care home windows while Boris Johnson and staff had cheese and wine in the Downing Street garden. 

The Prime Minister and his wife Carrie were pictured sitting at a table with two people while another 13 were pictured with bottles of alcohol nearby at a table and on the lawn on Friday May 15, 2020.

Downing Street has insisted it was not a social event, instead claiming staff were working in the garden in the afternoon and evening.  

Dominic Raab also defended the Prime Minister today, saying that having a drink ‘after a long day or long week’ was not against the regulations when asked about the photo – and pointed out that Mr Johnson was wearing a suit.

The picture was taken while the UK was in lockdown, with only two people from different households being allowed to meet outside while socially distanced.

However, the photograph shows three groups of people – including Boris and Carrie – with bottles of wine and alcohol on their tables.

And furious Brits have now told of the sacrifices they were making to abide by lockdown restrictions on the same date. 

Stephen Laughton revealed he could not see his dying mother because it was ‘against the rules’.

He said: ‘On the left is the last photo I have of my mum alive in May 2020. Living alone with serious illness, she faced the pandemic with stoicism.

‘We went for a walk around her local park. When she suggested sitting 2m apart in her garden, I said: better not, it’s against the rules.’

Dr Ajay Verma, a gastroenterologist, recalled holding a minute’s silence in a hospital ward in memory of those who had lost their lives in the pandemic.

He said: ‘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.’

The picture was plastered across the front page of the Guardian newspaper on Monday morning. Pictured on the right is Boris and Carrie, apparently holding their newborn baby, Wilf 

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Brits have shared their anger on social media by comparing what they were doing on the same date as the apparent social gathering in the Downing Street garden

Two body boarders being stopped by police before entering the water in Wales on May 9, 2020

Police officers in a patrol car move sunbathers on in Greenwich Park, London, using a megaphone

Social distancing measures including floor markings and taped off gates in place at Westminster Underground station on May 15, 2020

A lung oncology cancer nurse specialist added: ‘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?!’

A mother also shared a picture of her son having to speak to his grandmother through a window because the restrictions just a day prior to the picture of the Downing Street garden.

She said: ‘May the 14th 2020. My Son seeing his nanny through a window, whilst before he saw her for cuddles every day. Broke my heart. Heart is angry now.’

Pictures also showed police driving through a Greenwich Park in south London using a megaphone to address small groups having picnics in the sun on May 9.

Officers were also photographed stopping two body boarders from entering the sea on the same day as Downing Street staff enjoyed cheese and wine.

Westminster tube station was also eerily empty on May 15 as the vast majority of commuters worked from home. 

On May 10, five days before the picture, the Prime Minister addressed the nation from Downing Street and praised those that had ‘shown the good sense to support those rules overwhelmingly’.

He also described the ‘tragic’ death toll and the ‘immense suffering’ the country was having to endure.

A day after the garden meeting, an anti-lockdown demonstration took place in London’s Hyde Park.

Piers Corbyn was among 19 people arrested at the protest as hundreds gathered holding placards and banners including slogans like ‘freedom over fear’.

Dozens of police officers, including some on horseback, were patrolling the protest and issued a further 10 individuals with fines for not complying with lockdown restrictions.

Police arrest a man after surrounding him with a large cordon at London’s Hyde Park on May 15, 2020

A man is moved on by police during a mass gathering protest organised by the group called ‘UK Freedom Movement’

An anti lockdown protester is detained by police officers during a demonstration in Hyde Park a day after the Prime Minister was pictured having cheese and wine in the garden of Downing Street with 17 other people

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the protestors were in clear breach of the guidance, putting themselves and others at risk of infection’.  

Those that were sticking to the Government imposed restrictions spoke of having to go more than a year without having human contact with their families.

Another Twitter user posted a picture of themselves in full personal protective equipment, recalling how they had to sleep in the garage to avoid putting their family at risk of contracting Covid.

They said: ‘This was me in May 2020, in the endless cycle of door-car-work-car-door, “don’t touch daddy ’till I changed and showered”.’

‘After possible contamination I slept in my garage to protect my family. Over a year later I would learn the Tories were laughing at us all…#cheeseandwine’

May 2020 was also the height of virtual quizzes, with friends and families forced to socialise over Zoom due to restrictions preventing the mixing of households. 

Labour Councillor for Bilborough in Nottingham, tweeted a picture of herself drinking with friends remotely after a ‘gruelling day’.

She said: ‘Picture May 2020. This is what socialising after a gruelling day looked like for those of us who followed the rules last May. 

‘We all had hard days in lockdown, none more so than the key workers we clapped for, but cheese and wine for 17 was NOT allowed.’

 

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Twitter users have shared pictures comparing what they were doing on the same day as an apparent social gathering at Downing Street

 Laura Smith shared a picture of her son seeing his grandfather for the first time after ‘months of lockdown’, but added the pair sat two metres apart and did not embrace, believing they were ‘doing the right thing’.

Similarly, Kevin Pryce shared a picture visiting his father-in-law through a care home window, describing the luck his relative had in living in a ground floor room.

Another Twitter posted a picture of a closed off play area in her local estate, with children unable to use basic equipment like swings and slides during lockdown.

The picture, obtained by The Guardian, raises serious questions over Downing Street’s repeated claims that a ‘work meeting’ was taking place at the time – instead of a social event involving wine, spirits and pizza inside and outside.

Mr Raab told Sky News today: ‘It is not just a place of work for all the staff that work in Number 10 and the Prime Minister, but it is also the the residence of the Prime Minister and his very young family. 

‘I genuinely don’t think it gets classified as a party because Carrie popped down and spent a little bit of time there with her husband.’

‘They’re all in suits, predominantly in formal attire.

The revelation has heaped further pressure on the Prime Minister who is accused of ‘haemorrhaging public trust’, with 51 per cent of Conservative voters in 2019 now believing he is dishonest.

Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the Labour party, said that the photograph was ‘a slap in the face of the British public’.

She added: ‘The prime minister consistently shows us he has no regard for the rules he puts in place for the rest of us. Alleged drinking and partying late into the evening [at No 10] when the rest of us were only recently getting one daily walk.’

It is the latest in a ‘partygate’ row over celebrations inside No 10, with Downing Street accused of holding four parties that broke Covid restrictions last year.

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