Downing Street party: Hartlepool families react as questions continue over lockdown gathering

Calls are growing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ‘come clean’ following reports of a ‘bring your own booze’ party at Downing Street during England’s first national lockdown.

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, asked an urgent question in the House of Commons on Tuesday, January 11 as the row over the alleged gathering – said to have taken place on May 20, 2020 – escalated.

It's reported that around 100 people were invited to ‘socially-distanced’ drinks in the Downing Street garden on that date, following an email sent out by Martin Reynolds, the Prime Minister’s principal private secretary.

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The contents of the email were revealed by ITV News on Monday, January 10. Around 40 people are thought to have attended the gathering.

Some MPs sitting in the Commons on Tuesday raised cases of constituents who suffered losses during the pandemic and were unable to attend funerals.

Also on Tuesday, countless people on social media were sharing their stories of what was happening in their lives at that time.

We asked the Hartlepool Mail readers what they were doing on the day of the alleged party. The first national lockdown in England began in March 2020.

From muted life celebrations to grieving for lost loved ones, this is what you had to say:

June Gate: “It was my 48th wedding anniversary and my husband was in hospital very ill and I couldnt see him. He died later.”

Lynda Smoult: “I was home alone and unable to visit my husband in his nursing home as it was in complete lockdown.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pictured on a visit to a Boots pharmacy on January 10, 2022. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Caroline Grainger: “I was at home shielding after I had my cancer operation done on May 12, it was alright for some to have a party when I could not see anyone at all.”

Emma Bower: “May 20, 2020 was my daughter’s 8th birthday. We tried our best to make the best of a very bad situation by having one person in our garden to see her.”

Jean Hutchinson: “Home alone, not being able to see my husband in care home. Or family and grandchildren.”

Tracy Waters: “I was holding a funeral for my 25-year-old son.”

Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, asked an urgent question in the Commons on January 11. She is pictured here with Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Rob Pinney/Getty Images.

Kelly Sanderson: “34th birthday in lockdown. Window visits from family.”

Kevin Guffick: “Stuck in house, as I was told to.”

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