Hand evidence over to police! Rayner calls for criminal investigation into new party row

PMQs: Angela Rayner shares leadership ‘aspirations’

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Angela Rayner demanded evidence be handed over to the police if Prime Minister Boris Johnson was found to have attended parties during lockdown. Leaked emails showed an invitation was sent round to Conservative staffers to attend a party in the Downing Street gardens on May 20, 2020, where they were told to “bring your own booze” as the rest of the country was in lockdown. Ms Rayner said senior civil servant Sue Gray, who is handling the internal investigation, should hand evidence over to the Metropolitan Police who can then deal with the breaches and punish if necessary.

Speaking on Sky News, Ms Rayner was asked whether she thinks Boris Johnson should resign after the email was leaked with Martin Reynolds, who runs the Prime Minister’s private office and who sent the email, expected to step down.  

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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Ms Rayner said the public was “so upset” at the Government who have “laughed” at them and urged Mr Johnson to “reflect on that”.

The Labour frontbencher again reiterated Sue Grey should hand her evidence to the police if a breach was found.

Emails obtained by ITV News show a round-robin email to Downing Street staff telling them to attend a garden party.

Over a hundred people were sent the email which read: “Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening.

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“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

ITV News claims around 40 staff attended that party with Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie also attending.

Former advisor Dominic Cummings hinted at the May 20 party in his blog on Friday.

The Guardian also obtained images of a separate Downing Street gathering on May 15 which showed Mr Johnson, his wife and Martin Reynolds on the terrace with wine and cheese.

Downing Street has repeatedly denied the gathering broke rules and said it was a work meeting.

The Conservatives have been marred by a series of scandals involving lockdown parties while the rest of the country was restricted.

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The Mirror published a photo of a gathering at Conservative headquarters which showed a group of staffers posing with a buffet.

Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey was also in the picture and resigned as a committee chair in the London Assembly when the image was made public.

A spokesperson for Mr Bailey said: “On the evening of 14 December 2020, at the end of the working day, the campaign hosted a post-work event to thank campaign staff for their efforts over the course of the year.

“This was a serious error of judgement and we fully accept that a gathering like this at that time was wrong and we apologise unreservedly.”

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