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Partygate: PM criticised over treatment of No 10 cleaners and guards Partygate: PM criticised over treatment of No 10 cleaners and guards
(about 1 hour later)
Boris Johnson apologised for the way some Downing Street staff had been dealt with by officialsBoris Johnson apologised for the way some Downing Street staff had been dealt with by officials
Labour has attacked Boris Johnson over the treatment of cleaners and security guards outlined in Sue Gray's report on Downing Street lockdown parties.Labour has attacked Boris Johnson over the treatment of cleaners and security guards outlined in Sue Gray's report on Downing Street lockdown parties.
The senior civil servant found "multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment" of staff by officials when gatherings took place.The senior civil servant found "multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment" of staff by officials when gatherings took place.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner called the behaviour "beyond shameful".Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner called the behaviour "beyond shameful".
And senior Labour MP Chris Bryant said No 10 under Mr Johnson had become a "cesspit", full of "narcissists".And senior Labour MP Chris Bryant said No 10 under Mr Johnson had become a "cesspit", full of "narcissists".
Addressing the Commons following the publication of Ms Gray's long-awaited report, the prime minister said it was "absolutely disgraceful in any circumstances to be rude to people who are helping you, rude to staff, rude to custodians (security guards)".Addressing the Commons following the publication of Ms Gray's long-awaited report, the prime minister said it was "absolutely disgraceful in any circumstances to be rude to people who are helping you, rude to staff, rude to custodians (security guards)".
"It's intolerable and I will make sure those who are guilty of it apologise or are otherwise disciplined," he added."It's intolerable and I will make sure those who are guilty of it apologise or are otherwise disciplined," he added.
Speaking later at a No 10 press conference, Mr Johnson said he had "begun to make inquiries" into who had been rude to colleagues, adding: "I will of course continue them."
Drunken No 10 party culture laid bare in reportDrunken No 10 party culture laid bare in report
The Covid rules when Downing Street parties were heldThe Covid rules when Downing Street parties were held
Insiders tell of packed lockdown parties at No 10Insiders tell of packed lockdown parties at No 10
Ms Gray found Downing Street officials had partied during lockdown with the approval of their bosses, and highlighted examples of excessive drinking, with attendees being sick, and abuse of cleaning and security staff. Ms Gray found Downing Street officials had partied during lockdown with the approval of their bosses, and highlighted examples of excessive drinking, with attendees being sick, and abuse of cleaning and security staff occurring.
Ms Gray also said: "I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly. She also said: "I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly.
"I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable.""I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable."
The report noted that, on the morning following an end-of-year cheese-and-wine party on 18 December 2020: "A cleaner who attended the room the next morning noted that there had been red wine spilled on one wall and on a number of boxes of photocopier paper."The report noted that, on the morning following an end-of-year cheese-and-wine party on 18 December 2020: "A cleaner who attended the room the next morning noted that there had been red wine spilled on one wall and on a number of boxes of photocopier paper."
On Tuesday, the BBC's Panorama reported one Downing Street insider describing how a security guard had been mocked when they tried to stop one party in full flow.On Tuesday, the BBC's Panorama reported one Downing Street insider describing how a security guard had been mocked when they tried to stop one party in full flow.
'Despicable''Despicable'
In the Commons, Mr Bryant said: "The truth is the prime minister encouraged the gatherings, he attended the gatherings, he poured the drinks at the gatherings and even raised a toast at the gatherings. So he knew perfectly well that these gatherings had taken place.In the Commons, Mr Bryant said: "The truth is the prime minister encouraged the gatherings, he attended the gatherings, he poured the drinks at the gatherings and even raised a toast at the gatherings. So he knew perfectly well that these gatherings had taken place.
"And the most despicable thing of all is that Sue Gray says she saw multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff, because they knew what the rules meant even if nobody else does."And the most despicable thing of all is that Sue Gray says she saw multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff, because they knew what the rules meant even if nobody else does.
"Does he show no contrition, no sense of shame that Downing Street under him has been a cesspit, full of arrogant, entitled narcissists?""Does he show no contrition, no sense of shame that Downing Street under him has been a cesspit, full of arrogant, entitled narcissists?"
In a reference to the drinking society Mr Johnson was a member of while at Oxford University, Ms Rayner said: "Boris Johnson has turned Downing Street into a vomit-stained Bullingdon Club.In a reference to the drinking society Mr Johnson was a member of while at Oxford University, Ms Rayner said: "Boris Johnson has turned Downing Street into a vomit-stained Bullingdon Club.
"The treatment and mockery doled out to cleaning and security staff that has now been exposed is beyond shameful.""The treatment and mockery doled out to cleaning and security staff that has now been exposed is beyond shameful."
Another Labour MP, Alison McGovern, asked if Mr Johnson had personally apologised to the cleaners and security staff.Another Labour MP, Alison McGovern, asked if Mr Johnson had personally apologised to the cleaners and security staff.
'Intolerable''Intolerable'
"This is the first I've seen of the detailed criticisms of civil servants for that abuse," the prime minister replied."This is the first I've seen of the detailed criticisms of civil servants for that abuse," the prime minister replied.
"I've said I think it's intolerable and I'll make sure staff, custodians, cleaners who were treated disrespectfully get a proper apology, I've apologised to them today already from this despatch box.""I've said I think it's intolerable and I'll make sure staff, custodians, cleaners who were treated disrespectfully get a proper apology, I've apologised to them today already from this despatch box."
Meanwhile, Mark Serwotka, leader of the PCS union, which includes some Downing Street cleaners among its members, said: "The prime minister should resign. He has consistently shown a failure of leadership. He has no integrity, no moral authority and his position is untenable."Meanwhile, Mark Serwotka, leader of the PCS union, which includes some Downing Street cleaners among its members, said: "The prime minister should resign. He has consistently shown a failure of leadership. He has no integrity, no moral authority and his position is untenable."
Downing Street insiders have told Panorama that they arrived at work during lockdown to find bottles lying around, bins overflowing and empty drinks left on the table.Downing Street insiders have told Panorama that they arrived at work during lockdown to find bottles lying around, bins overflowing and empty drinks left on the table.
For the Liberal Democrats, MP Wendy Chamberlain said Mr Johnson should dock several thousand pounds from his own salary to pay cleaners for the extra work carried out.For the Liberal Democrats, MP Wendy Chamberlain said Mr Johnson should dock several thousand pounds from his own salary to pay cleaners for the extra work carried out.
While Ms Gray's report was critical of the treatment of Downing Street cleaners and security guards, it said steps had since been taken "to introduce more easily accessible means by which to raise concerns electronically".While Ms Gray's report was critical of the treatment of Downing Street cleaners and security guards, it said steps had since been taken "to introduce more easily accessible means by which to raise concerns electronically".
"I hope that this will truly embed a culture that welcomes and creates opportunities for challenge and speaking up at all levels," it added."I hope that this will truly embed a culture that welcomes and creates opportunities for challenge and speaking up at all levels," it added.