BBC host Emma Barnett in furious clash over No10 lockdown party ‘How can we trust Boris?’

Philip Dunne clashes with host on alleged Downing Street party

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Newsnight presenter Emma Barnett wasted no time in questioning Mr Dunne about the latest leaked text messages showing more evidence of alleged parties and drinks taking place at Downing Street during a national lockdown to combat the pandemic. The latest messages show Boris Johnson’s aide Martin Reynolds invited staff at No.10 to a BYOB garden party on May 20, 2020 – a time when Britons were being urged to meet only one person face to face. Ms Barnett said: “It is not surprising to me that some people might be having a drink after work, having a party is a completely different thing.”

Mr Dunne: “Emma, I was asked to come onto this programme to talk about pandemic versus endemic.

“I’ve not been circulating in the house.”

Ms Barnett said: “But you know what, this is the pandemic. We are very grateful you came, we really are.

“But this is all that the attention is on right now, whether you can trust the party of Government with what they’re saying.

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“Because trust is at the heart of when you say to us, we’re going to come out of this period and we’re going to start living like this.

“How can anyone trust the Prime Minister, and his Ministers and those around him.

“If they’re partying with their own booze, only a matter of weeks after lockdown.”

Mr Dunne said: “Well you’re making quite a lot of speculative allegations there, about who was present and what they were doing.”

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Boris Johnson grilled on Downing Street garden photo

Ms Barnett said: “I’m not making them, they’re based on the emails and witness reports, it’s called journalism.”

Mr Dunne said: “I think the other thing, just to bear in mind this was three months after the most intense period of crisis management, that any Government has faced in peacetime.

“So it is not surprising to me that some people might be having a drink after work, having a party is a completely different thing.”

Ms Barnett said: “Do you know how many people wanted a drink after work with their friends, with people they had lost.”

Mr Dunne said: “People had a… I had a drink at home.”

Deputy leader of the Labour party, Angela Rayner insisted the Police should investigate the allegations as she pointed out the claims are no longer “a one-off” and need to be addressed.

Ms Rayner said: “I think if the Prime Minister knew about this party, attended this party and all the other evidence and the parties that have been alleged that’s happened.

“All of that evidence, if the law has been broken should be handed over to the police and nobody’s above the law in this country.

“They should be dealt with appropriately. But this isn’t a one-off now, this is endemic people are saying, you know, there are memes about how many parties No10 have had.”

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