THE Tory Cabinet meeting on Thursday was a “joyous” occasion full of jokes and song despite looming crises of the UK Government’s own making, according to reports.
Boris Johnson’s Cabinet met in Stoke-on-Trent on an “away day” to discuss the cost-of-living crisis and the impact of the Tory government’s own rhetoric on the Brexit-fuelled tensions in Northern Ireland.
However, although the Stormont executive remains paralysed over the Northern Ireland Protocol and people’s bills are skyrocketing, reports in The Times said Cabinet had been “joyous”.
There was “an impromptu chorus of ‘happy birthday’ for Rishi Sunak”, who turned 42 on May 12, and jokes about partygate – the scandal which saw Sunak, Johnson, and as many as 100 others working at the top level of government fined for breaking the law.
“Where’s the cake?” one senior minister is said to have joked at the meeting, referencing the top Tories’ criminal behaviour.
The Times also reported that, in a meeting for around 200 Conservative MPs held at No 10 earlier in the week in a bid for Johnson to woo backbenchers, the Prime Minister had joked about the infamous BYOB party.
Around 100 people had been invited to take alcoholic drinks to No 10’s garden during lockdown at an event which Johnson admitted having attended – although he insisted to parliament he thought it had been a work do.
Referencing the party, Johnson reportedly joked that Tuesday’s event was a “legal Downing Street garden gathering”.
The reports will do little to assuage the prevalent feeling that top Tories are laughing at the ordinary people who followed the rules, while the lawmakers who made them did not.
It comes after Oliver Dowden, the Conservative party chairman, donated a bottle of champagne signed by the Prime Minister to a charity drive.
A charity employee wrote a pithy description for the ill-judged donation, sent during a cost-of-living crisis overseen by a Prime Minister who oversaw an illegal culture of booze-fuelled parties on Downing Street, leading to intense backlash.