Politics

The deputy prime minister makes an important mistake when he admits (briefly) that there was a No. 10 get together

Dominic Raab made a significant blunder during an interview with Sky News on Tuesday when he appeared to go against the Government’s line by admitting there was a No10 party on 20 May 2020.

Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice, waded into the latest development in the dispute between Boris Johnson and his former senior adviser Dominic Cummings over the alleged party.

Raab tried to dispel Cummings’ claims that the Prime Minister had dismissed any concerns that the party should go ahead, telling Sky News: “I can only speak to what I know and what I see.

“There was speculation that the party on May 20th was held in my honor to thank me. It’s just ridiculous.”

Raab had stepped in for Johnson back then when the Prime Minister was briefly hospitalized with Covid.

“Was it?” Kay Burley asked.

“No, of course not. Ridiculous!”

“No! Exactly. Uh, no, uh, no no no no.”

“They call it the May 20th Party. You didn’t just say that!”

“That is the claim that has been made. It was nonsense, I wasn’t invited and I wasn’t there.

“I don’t think anyone is accusing me of that.”

Raab continues: “Personally, I don’t recognize from my own experience the caricature that they all celebrated – it was an incredibly serious, difficult and committed team.”

He denied there was a drinking culture at No. 10, although at times he thought the Prime Minister blamed that culture more than anything else for boisterous parties.

“People worked extremely long hours, so it doesn’t surprise me when people, as you see them in other walks of life, have a glass of wine or beer at the end of a very long week.”

Raab also dismissed Cumming’s “nonsense” claim that Johnson lied to Parliament about knowing the event on May 20, 2020 was a drink party – not a “work event” as the Prime Minister claimed last Wednesday.

Asked whether Johnson should resign if he lies to Parliament, Raab said: “I will not speculate on hypothetical situations.”

Raab certainly has form when it comes to car crash interviews – he has previously misunderstood the meaning of misogyny, once claiming “the sea is closed” when trying to justify his leave during the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

In response to Raab’s last interview, Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy tweeted, “It’s like a sequel to Columbo, ‘There’s just one more thing, Mr. Raab…’

He wasn’t the only one to notice the mistake, either.

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