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Nurses vent fury over Sue Gray revelations on lockdown parties

Nurses react to report on Downing St parties, saying Boris Johnson and his staff must be held to same level of accountability as healthcare professionals
Picture shows Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons

Nurses react to report on Downing St parties, saying Boris Johnson and his staff must be held to same level of accountability as healthcare professionals

Nurses have voiced their anger at prime minister Boris Johnson in the wake of Sue Gray’s report into lockdown parties, calling for him to be held to the same level of accountability as healthcare professionals.

Mr Johnson was forced to apologise in the House of Commons after the long-awaited report into 16 alleged lockdown parties that occurred between between May 2020 and April 2021 concluded that the gatherings ‘should not have been allowed to take place or to

Nurses react to report on Downing St parties, saying Boris Johnson and his staff must be held to same level of accountability as healthcare professionals

Picture shows Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in the House of Commons
Picture: Parliament TV

Nurses have voiced their anger at prime minister Boris Johnson in the wake of Sue Gray’s report into lockdown parties, calling for him to be held to the same level of accountability as healthcare professionals.

Mr Johnson was forced to apologise in the House of Commons after the long-awaited report into 16 alleged lockdown parties that occurred between between May 2020 and April 2021 concluded that the gatherings ‘should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did’.

Four of the alleged parties took place in May and June 2020, when many nurses and healthcare staff were working without appropriate personal protective equipment. The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are investigating 12 events that took place on eight separate dates, including one that occurred on Mr Johnson’s birthday.

Too little thought was given to what the rest of the country was experiencing

Mr Johnson, who is reported to have been at three of the parties, refused to confirm if he was at a fourth event in his own flat and rejected calls to resign, adding that MPs must wait until the findings of the police investigation.

Taking to social media, one intensive care unit nurse said she was ‘beyond angry’ that rules about professionalism, trust and safety did not apply to the prime minister as they do to those registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Another nurse recalled how friends and family ‘grieved in our homes unable to support each other’ while the parties were taking place.

Others criticised the government for handling the pandemic ‘abysmally’.

Report author Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, concluded after an investigation that the ‘behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify’. In particular, she highlighted the demanding conditions that front-line workers were facing, including a risk to their own health, in the wake of COVID-19.

Ms Gray also found there were failures of leadership by Number 10 and the Cabinet Office, and that ‘too little thought’ was given to what the rest of the country was experiencing.

Mr Johnson told MPs he accepted the report in full and promised to shake up the way Downing Street is run, including creating an Office of the Prime Minister, with a permanent secretary to lead Number 10.


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