Only staff who were already working together in Downing Street offices were invited to a party during lockdown, Lichfield’s MP has said.
Michael Fabricant made his comments after a leaked email to ITV News revealed that as many as 100 people were invited to the gathering in the garden in May 2020.
Around 30 people are said to have attended, with witnesses claiming Boris Johnson and his wife were among them.
But the original invite was sent when lockdown rules were still in place restricting people from meeting others.
The gathering is now being looked at as part of an investigation led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, while the Metropolitan Police is also speaking with the Government about the reports.
Lichfield’s Conservative MP Michael Fabricant told his social media followers that the facts should be considered.
“Was the Downing Street party a ‘flagrant breach of the rules’ as Labour are happily claiming?
“Sue Gray will decide, but the facts are that there are 80 or 90 offices in the Downing Street complex with key workers who were all operating closely together indoors.
“Only they were invited to relax in the open air – an enclosed garden – and would not have increased the risk of contagion. No outside guests were invited at all.
“These people had worked incredibly hard on all our behalves on the vaccine programme.”Michael Fabricant MP
But many Twitter uses criticised the MP for trying to “defend the indefensible”.
“Imagine shopworkers having a party after work, or postal workers, carers, doctors and nurses, or teachers all having a few cans in the playground – it wouldn’t have been allowed would it?
“This MP is confirming it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.”Twitter user
Former England rugby international Brian Moore also criticised Mr Fabricant’s comments. He said:
“If these are the facts, they still do not amount to a defence under the laws that were in place at the time and under which ‘little people’ were fined.”Brian Moore