Doctors have spoken of their anger at reports of a drinks party at No 10 during the first Covid lockdown in May 2020. Cllr Doina Cornell said : “149 people across the Stroud district died from Coronavirus in 2020. We now know that at the same time Boris Johnson, his wife and team enjoyed lockdown-busting boozy parties at No 10. Countless more lost special moments – missed funerals, weddings and crucial life events.”
Doctors have accused Boris Johnson of showing “contempt” for NHS workers after reports he attended a Downing Street garden party during the first Covid lockdown.
Healthcare professionals spoke of their fury at the Prime Minister over the alleged breach of lockdown rules on 20 May 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic.
More than 100 Downing Street staff were invited to the ‘bring your own booze’ party with reports suggesting Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie both attended.
At the time, people were banned from meeting more than one other person outdoors, with NHS workers warning of inadequate PPE and a seven-day average of around 254 daily deaths.
Dr Ajay Verma, a consultant gastroenterologist and physician who works in Northamptonshire said the reports of a party were “sad to see” for healthcare workers.
Dr Verma told i: “At that time in the hospital it was terrible. We didn’t have vaccinations so patients were coming in and being desperately sick and unwell. We were seeing a lot of deaths.
“There will be a lot of very angry bereaved family members.”
On 20 May, the day of the alleged party, Mr Johnson told MPs that 181 NHS workers and 131 care workers had died from Covid in England up to that point.
Five days before the reported gathering, organised by Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds, Dr Verma tweeted a photo of staff at his hospital holding a one minute’s silence for those who had lost their lives on the frontline of the pandemic.
“We had the fear every day that we would run out of PPE. There was fear of knowing what happens to healthcare professionals,” he said.
“It was a very difficult time. Our hospital every week was doing a minute’s silence. We were very nervous, we were very concerned, we were scared.
“There was fear of everything, so it is really disappointing. At worst it is contempt, at best it is ignorance, a laissez-faire attitude to health care workers and bereaved families.”
Government minister Michael Ellis has confirmed any party gathering will be referred to police if necessary.