Anna Birley, co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, slammed Boris Johnson’s boozy bash at Number 10 as ‘deeply offensive’ (Picture: Reuters/ PA)
Organisers behind Sarah Everard’s vigil have blasted Boris Johnson for the ‘absolute disrespect’ in partying at Number 10.
The prime minister has finally owned up to being one of 40 people at a garden gathering in May 2020, although insists he thought he was at a work event.
Anna Birley, co-founder of Reclaim These Streets, has slammed his actions as ‘deeply offensive’ after police used force to break up the vigil the group planned during the pandemic.
The Number 10 boozy bash ‘to make the best of the lovely weather’ and the protest to honour Sarah’s memory did not take place in the same month – not even in the same year.
But they both happened at a time when Covid-19 legislation banned large gatherings.
Murderer PC Wayne Couzens lured marketing executive Sarah, 33, into his car under the pretence that she had breached these same rules.
Ms Birley, also a Labour councillor for Lambeth, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Respect for the rules and fear of consequences is what made Sarah Everard get into that car with her killer.
‘Contrasting that with the absolute disrespect shown by Boris and colleagues who partied the year previous in the Downing Street garden is deeply offensive.
The Tory leader apologised for attending a lockdown-breaching party held in his Downing Street garden, but deflected calls to resign (Picture: AFP)
‘The reason given for us not to be allowed to go ahead with the vigil was consistently that gatherings were not permitted.
‘There is a rule for predominantly men and there is a rule for women, and there is a degree of double standards.
‘Also, Metropolitan Police have spent so much time and energy trying to prevent women from coming together when one of their own colleagues was accused of murder and rape.
‘But they do not feel like it is a good use of police time to investigate alleged breaches by Number 10.’
It comes after alarming images showed officers grabbing several women laying flowers and holding candles at the Sarah Everard vigil in Clapham Common in March 2021.
Hundreds of people turned out in Clapham Common to pay tribute to Sarah Everard (Picture: Getty)
Officers used force in an effort to disperse the women laying flowers and holding candles (Picture: AFP)
At the time, organisers said they were ‘deeply saddened and angered’ by scenes of officers ‘physically manhandling women at a vigil against male violence’.
Reclaim These Streets co-founder Jamie Clingler also said: ‘Metropolitan Police violated our human rights by not allowing us to hold a vigil for Sarah Everard whilst they watched the government party in the garden at Number 10. How does that sit with you?’
A review into policing at the vigil later found that police ‘did not act inappropriately’.
Reclaim These Streets is preparing to head to court next week for a test case challenge against the police force’s handling of the vigil, with a decision expected in February.
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