Stafford hits back on "parliamentary engagement" with PM who missed Cobra meeting for BBQ

Mr Stafford was present at the party and posed for a photo in which the PM could be seen holding what appeared to be a glass of rose.

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson was criticised for holding a “farewell party” with BBQ food and alcohol yesterday — with Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford among the guest — instead of attending an emergency meeting.

Mr Johnson was forced to resign earlier this month as after calls from his own party to resign, following a string of scandals, including the so-called Partygate affair.

But he invited supporters — including Mr Stafford — to Chequers for a get-together while a Cobra emergency meeting went ahead without him.

Mr Stafford has been a loyal back of the now caretaker PM and stated he had “achieved a great deal” in the role — despite changing a Facebook profile showing him with Mr Johnson shortly before the resignation was announced. 

Mr Stafford took his wife and two children to the party and posed for a photo in which the PM could be seen holding what appeared to be a glass of rose.

Mr Stafford said it had “lovely” to visit the PM, adding in a Facebook post that the PM “sends Rother Valley his best regards”,

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, was “gobsmacked” to learn of the event.

She said: “I was shocked that Boris Johnson thought it was OK to have another booze up.

“But hey-ho, we’ve come to expect this from this Prime Minister.”

In response, Kit Malthouse, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, told Sky News: “I have to tell you it is completely unfair and we communicated and was briefed at 8am yesterday morning. 

“He is right across this.

“The Prime Minister has to deal with lots of things on a daily basis, and that’s why he appoints secretaries of state to deal with those issues (like the heatwave).”

Jamie Turner (43) a member of Rother Valley’s Labour Party, is critical of the “farewell party”.

He said: “The Government has called the first ever national heatwave emergency and, sadly, people are expected to lose their lives.

“Nurses are being called in for emergency shifts, our emergency services are seeing extreme numbers of calls and families are desperately trying to care for their vulnerable loved ones.

“Boris Johnson decided to not bother going to the Cobra crisis meetings. 

“Instead, he organised a boozy BBQ at his taxpayer-funded mansion.

“MP Alexander Stafford, rather than seeking to minimise local loss of life, chose to further his career and join the partying at Boris’ work-dodging bash.”

Mr Stafford responded to Mr Turner’s “attack” and said it showed the Labour Party in its “truest form”.

"It is my duty as the Prime Minister’s PPS to be with him at all parliamentary engagements and I always use the opportunity to bang the drum for Rother Valley,” he said.,mp-nick-fletcher-backs-kemi-badenoch-for-pm_42321.htm