Grant Shapps reveals ‘anger’ over ‘unacceptable’ Downing Street parties

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps arrives in Downing Street, London, ahead of the government's weekly

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has had his say on the Downing Street parties. - Credit: PA

Grant Shapps has revealed his ‘anger’ at Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the parties held at 10 Downing Street during lockdown.

The Welwyn Hatfield MP and Transport Secretary described the events as ‘unacceptable’.

It has now been confirmed that a number of parties were held by the Conservatives during lockdown, including an event in the No10 garden on May 20, 2020 which Johnson attended and a party the night before the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

Mr Shapps told this newspaper he shares the public’s anger over the parties after being unable to see his seriously ill father for four months because of restrictions.

"As someone who was unable to see my own dad who spent four months in hospital seriously ill during Covid restrictions and not knowing whether we would ever see him again, I share the public anger about reports of lockdown breaking events. Holding parties was unacceptable at that time,” he said.

He also said that the PM ‘sincerely regrets’ his actions, adding: “The Prime Minister has rightly apologised for attending what he understood to be a work gathering at Number 10 and I know that he sincerely regrets what has happened.”

Mr Shapps also acknowledged members of his constituency who have been demanding the truth over the Downing Street parties, asking them to wait for the conclusion of Sue Gray’s investigation.

Most Read

“I know, also, that people in my constituency want the truth about how these events unfolded, who set them up and who was present,” he said.

“We will get all these answers through the investigation being carried out by the respected and independent Sue Gray. 

“Whatever the passions this matter arouses, we must adhere to the proper process in train. That is the best way to bring this matter to a definitive conclusion.”

He did praise the government’s COVID-19 response and booster jab programme, adding: “We are the only country in the northern hemisphere seeing reductions in the Omicron wave and this has come as a direct result of the Prime Minister's initiative to ramp up the rollout of the booster jab.

“No one has worked harder in the fight against COVID, and the resulting lives saved through our world leading vaccine, testing and antivirals programmes, is in no small part due to the PM's determination to push harder and demand results.”