Resurfaced police tweet warned against outdoor gathering on same day as Downing Street garden party

By Becca Monaghan

The police prompted the nation to “stay alert”, while the government gathered for a garden party

(Picture: Getty Images)

The Metropolitan Police have been blasted as a “total and utter disgrace” after their cautionary tweet – published on the very same day of the notorious Downing Street garden party – has resurfaced online.

The tweet, posted on 20 May 2020, prompted the nation to “stay alert” and carry out leisurely activities either on their own, with their household or with “one other person.”

It read: “Have you been enjoying the hottest day of the year so far?

“It is important that we all continue to #StayAlert,

“You can relax, have a picnic, exercise or play sport, as long as you are:

  • On your own
  • With people you live with
  • Just you and one other person.”

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, No 10 had a lockdown-breaking party with over 100 members of staff invited to bring their own booze and “[hang] out” in the garden, according to a leaked email.

Around 30-40 staff members were said to have attended, including Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie.

Just an hour before the planned party, cabinet minister Oliver Dowden informed members of the public at a live news conference: “You can meet one person outside your household in an outdoor, public place, provided that you stay two metres apart.”

Naturally, the nation was furious and turned to Twitter to express their anger at the double standards, insisting on a formal investigation. One accused the police of being “either absent or fully complicit,” while others quizzed the force where they were that day.

According to ITV News, the leaked Downing Street email was sent by the prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds.

It read: “Hi all. After what has been an incredibly busy period it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”It also came five days after another party, where the prime minister and his wife were pictured with officials having wine and cheese in the garden.

The Metropolitan Police told Indy100:

“The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at Downing Street on 20 May 2020 and is in contact with the Cabinet Office.”


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.