Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Media
18 January 2022

WATCH: Dominic Raab calls No 10 lockdown drinks a “party” – before frantically backtracking

Don’t tell him, Pike!

By The Chatterer

For the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, this morning’s media round must have felt like a hangover worthy of a Downing Street staffer on 21 May 2020.

Inadvertently, Raab-caught-in-headlights became the first cabinet voice to confirm publicly that the No 10 garden drinks gathering on 20 May 2020 during lockdown was, indeed, a “party” – ie, not, as Boris Johnson put it, something “believed implicitly” to be a work event…

In a hilarious interview with Sky News’s Kay Burley, worthy of the iconic “Don’t tell him, Pike!” scene in Dad’s Army, Raab used the very word he was seeking to deny when describing the scandal.

“Speculation that the 20 May party was held in my honour to thank me is just ridiculous,” Raab said.

“So it was a party on 20 May then?” Burley asked.

“No, exactly, it wa– no, the, the…”

“You referred to it as the 20 May party.”

Content from our partners
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting small businesses – Liz Truss must act
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs

“No, no, no, no, this is a claim that was made…”

“That’s what you just said!”

Watch above and cringe.

[See also: What Dominic Raab missed about Angela Rayner at Glyndebourne]

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU