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Steerpike

Party-planners troll No. 10

Party-planners troll No. 10
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Westminster's finest are gathering today ahead of Boris Johnson's much-awaited appearance at Prime Ministers' Questions. The embattled premier is expected to be grilled shortly in the Commons about the garden party which took place in No. 10 in May 2020, following a morning media round blackout by the government in recent days.

Yet while the House should be full today, government whips should not expect many of those on the Tory benches to be there in support. Some tell Mr S they are just there to watch the blood sport, putting in prayer cards to witness the unfolding drama in Parliament. Far more telling than the attendance rate is the number of Tories willing to put in helpful questions, with just four of the fourteen listed on the order paper being from Conservative MPs.

And it's not just MPs getting in on the fun. For Steerpike spotted some mischief-loving protesters have set up shop on Parliament Square, offering complimentary sausage rolls, muffins, crisps and other delectables to bemused passers-by outside the Palace of Westminster. When Mr S spoke to the pair this morning, they were wearing masks of Boris and Carrie and dancing along to Lady Gaga's 2008 hit 'Just Dance' blaring out from an accompanying set of speakers. 

Accompanied by home-made signs declaring 'Maximum of 40 people' 'It's 6pm somewhere' '#No10GardenParty' and 'BYOB' the impromptu garden party was apparently of their own initiative and makes a welcome change from the usual bellowing of 'Stop Brexit man' Steve Bray.

How much longer can Boris survive his critics dining out on tales of No. 10 hypocrisy?

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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