Jim Shannon MP breaks down in tears while asking question on alleged Downing Street party after his mother-in-law 'died alone' from Covid
Cabinet Officer Michael Ellis told the Commons the investigation into the alleged Downing Street party would be made public
DUP MP Jim Shannon was overcome with emotion when speaking about the death of his mother-in-law in parliament today, as the Cabinet Offie minister Michael Ellis fielded questions over the alleged Downing Street party that took place on May 20 2020
In an emotional contribution in the Commons, the MP for Strangford said: “In Northern Ireland we reached the milestone of 3,000 deaths due to Covid just last week. Including my mother-in-law, who died alone.”
Mr Shannon struggled to go on with his question before sitting back down.
Michael Ellis said: “I’m very sorry for his loss. He’s asking me if the results of the investigation will be made public, and they will be.”
Mr Ellis was heckled relentlessly by opposition MPs as he replied to an urgent question on reports of a gathering in the Downing Street garden on May 20 2020.
Shouts of “where is he?” in relation to Boris Johnson could be heard, with Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle saying: “It’s quite obvious it’s not the Prime Minister, so we don’t need to keep asking that question.”
He added on Mr Ellis: “He’s got the tough job as it is, don’t make it harder for him.”
No 10 said “there’ll be requisite action taken” if wrongdoing is found in Sue Gray’s investigation.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman would not comment on whether staff expressed concerns over the May 20, 2020, party at the time, or whether Boris Johnson or Cabinet Secretary Simon Case attended.
Asked if he had spoken to the PM about whether he had attended, the spokesman said: “I’m not going to get into the conversations I’ve had with the Prime Minister, again, what’s right is that the investigation is able to carry out its work.”
Asked whether Mr Johnson was aware when gatherings were held in the Downing Street garden, he said: “I’m just not going to be drawn on speculation.
“As we said previously that the garden is used fairly regularly, particularly in the summer months, by No 10 Downing Street staff, but beyond that I’m not going to comment.”
He added: “It’s fairly matter of course that meetings and events take place in Downing Street garden fairly regularly. It will depend on what they are, in terms of who signs them off, but staff are free to use the garden in the summer months.”