INTERIM prime minister Boris Johnson is skipping Cobra meetings to hold a party at Chequers.
The news comes despite an unprecedented heatwave set to hit the UK which experts warn could kill thousands.
Johnson, who refused to step down as prime minister immediately despite more than 50 resignations from his government, was accused of ditching responsibility by Labour.
Instead, the Tory leader is holding a “farewell party” at the country residence of the prime minister.
A Tory source told Sky News: "The invitation comes from Mr and Mrs Johnson.
"It is their farewell bash at Chequers this weekend. Partners and children are all invited."
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the news was “grotesque”.
She went on: “Skipping Cobra. Missing in action. Partying while Britain boils.
“This zombie Tory Government is unfit for office.”
Johnson’s brief time in office has been marred by scandals linked to illegal parties held while the rest of the country was locked down.
He also faced heavy criticism early in the pandemic after reports that he had skipped five Cobra meetings aimed at dealing with the emerging crisis.
The heatwave expected to hit the UK early next week could see temperatures hit 40C for the first time on record.
Warnings have been issued amid fears of transport disruption and a surge in admissions to the NHS.
Bob Ward, the policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, told The Guardian the UK “could see 1500 to 2000 deaths just from this one period of heat”.
Ministers will hold a second emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday to address the oncoming crisis. Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse is to chair in Johnson's absence.