David Lammy urges Boris Johnson to quit amid partygate furore

The Labour politician said the Government was laughing at the British people after a Champagne bottle was auctioned off as a partygate souvenir.

Benedict Smith
Sunday 15 May 2022 18:03
Oliver Dowden (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Oliver Dowden (Jonathan Brady/PA)

David Lammy has accused the Government of “laughing” at the public after a bottle of Champagne from the Tory chairman was auctioned off as a “souvenir of partygate”.

Speaking at a protest opposite Downing Street on a wet Sunday afternoon, the shadow foreign secretary labelled Boris Johnson a “travesty” and called on him to resign.

“Just a few days ago a bottle of Champagne, signed by Boris Johnson, was auctioned at a Hertfordshire Conservative constituency party meeting,” he said.

“It was a meeting of the chair of the Conservative Party, Oliver Dowden.

“Signed onto that bottle, next to Boris Johnson’s signature, was that this was a memento of partygate.”

Mr Lammy’s mention of Mr Dowden drew boos from the crowd, many of whom carried EU flags, umbrellas and berets.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy (Aaron Chown/PA)

The bottle, advertised to bidders as a “souvenir of partygate”, the series of parties held in Downing Street during lockdown, was in fact auctioned off by a Hertfordshire charity.

A spokesperson for Mr Dowden confirmed he had donated the Champagne, but added he had “no prior knowledge” of its description.

Tottenham MP Mr Lammy continued: “My friends, they are laughing at us, they are laughing at us.

“And the simple question for the British public is, does it matter if you have a Prime Minister that breaks the rules?

“We look at Boris Johnson, we look at the travesty that has befallen No 10 and our country, and we say resign now.”

In apparent reference to the No 10 lockdown parties, for which the Prime Minister has been fined by the police, one protester held a sign reading: “I’ve brought my own boos.”

Mr Dowden gave the Champagne to the Hertfordshire Community Foundation, which confirmed that the Conservative chairman had not been responsible for the partygate reference.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Victoria Jones/PA)

It said in a statement: “This item was donated in good faith several months ago as part of a charity auction raising funds to support some of the county’s most vulnerable residents.

“The description was not drafted or seen by MP Oliver Dowden prior to the event.

“On behalf of the charity, we apologise for any offence caused.”

Natalie Bennett, the Green peer who unsuccessfully stood for Parliament three times, declared that Britain was “not a democracy” in her speech at the protest.

“Boris Johnson has 100% of the power down this end of the Houses of Parliament, despite only winning 44% of the vote,” she said.

“Not only are we not a democracy, we are heading very fast, as many people have said, towards an autocracy.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in