Kate Garraway grills Damian Hinds on Downing Street parties
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Good Morning Britain broadcaster Kate Garraway, 54, became visibly infuriated as she discussed the latest claims yet another Downing Street party took place the evening before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, which saw the Queen sat alone as she mourned her husband of 73 years. Kate, whose husband Derek Draper sadly became one of the longest hospitalised victims of Covid-19 and has been left with life-changing consequences, shut down excuses investigations would be in place as she fumed: “We’ve been hearing this for weeks.”
Former Downing Street Director of Communications James Slack apologised for a leaving party which took place back in April.
Speaking to Hinds about this, Garraway asked: “What are your feelings?”
“I was shocked when I read that story, shocked as I’m sure your viewers were,” he replied.
“That was a time of particular solemnity in our country with Her Majesty the Queen mourning for Prince Philip, with the most exceptional and incredible dignity, so as I say – I was shocked, as I think everybody has been.”
Garraway commented: “You’re shocked though, Mr Hinds, and we’re all shocked, you’re right, but we’re not in a position to do anything about it. You’re a government minister so what have you done since hearing about it?”
“Have you tried to call the Prime Minister, have you tried to find out more about what’s going on?
“I’m sure you’ve been very busy doing your job this morning as well, but I think the feeling is, Boris Johnson wasn’t there but there was a culture at Number 10 and that, unfortunately, pervades across the rest of the government and impacts on people’s impression of people like you as well, that there was one rule for one and one rule for another.
“And this constant, ‘oh, I didn’t know what was going on and I’m shocked about it’ no longer feels comfortable for anyone to hear.”
Hinds replied: “I understand and acknowledge people’s disappointment-“
He was cut off by Garaway, who continued: “But what have you done about it since hearing, is my point? You know, it feels like there needs to be action now!”
“I think you’re right that we need to get to the bottom of this, there is an investigation going on which I understand will also look at this.
“It will look at the whole sequence of gathering and alleged gatherings and those findings will become public.”
“So it’s definitely going to be looked at, is it? Her [Sue Gray’s] job is becoming increasingly difficult.”
Garraway probed: “You’ve spoken to the government this morning, have you? You only found out this morning…
“You’re in a position to do something about it and get answers for all of us, aren’t you?”
As Hinds explained the investigation, the broadcaster argued: “‘We have to work harder’, we’ve been hearing this for weeks!”
She added: “And inside Number 10, at the very least, there seems to be a chaotic understanding of what on earth went on while the rest of the nation was living in a very restricted way, and I just think you must be talking to me right now thinking, I want to get on the phone and find out what’s happening’, have you not got the power within the government to talk to each other and get some honesty?”
“Yes, you’re quite right,” Hinds responded. “The restrictions people have lived under have been exceptional and extreme and in the worst cases we’ve been unable to be with dying relatives or to mourn their loss.
“Of course I understand how people feel and you say about having the power and ability to get to the bottom, that’s what the purpose is of appointing a senior civil servant to look into it.”
Following the interview, a frustrated Garraway sighed and commented: “I suppose the alternative is people tell the truth at the start.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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