The MP for Devizes has said the alleged lockdown gathering at No 10 last year appeared to show "a callous disregard" for the sacrificies the nation was making at the time.

Danny Kruger has issued a statement, after receiving "hundreds" of emails, to say that he was not invited to the alleged lockdown gathering at Downing Street on May 20, 2020.

Read more: Salisbury MP had no knowledge of alleged No 10 garden party

Kruger said that the only parties he attended at No 10 during the time period were on January 31, 2020, before the first lockdown, to mark the exit from the EU, and then on October 26 2021 for a drinks party for the Conservative Environment Network, on the eve of COP26.

"I was not invited, nor did I attend, any of the events in between that are the subject of the inquiry by Sue Gray. I explain this because a number of people have asked," he wrote on his website.

He said the gathering in May 2020 "plainly should not have happened" and that it was "obviously a social event too".

"The appearance is one of decadence, rule-stretching and, worse, a callous disregard for the personal sacrifices that families were making at that time," he wrote.

The MP said that "good leadership" is needed, but he did not call for the resignation of the Prime Minister.

Instead, he said what was needed was more competent staff: "It is a very bad moment when so many people like this lose faith in a Conservative Prime Minister. 

"My simple view is that the PM needs a Chief of Staff who will grip the operation in No 10; a Cabinet Secretary who will grip the civil service; and a Deputy Prime Minister who will focus on delivering the policies we promised... and on reforming the British state."

He added: "I don't have the right to preach compliance to others. In September 2020 I was photographed mask-less on a train. Nevertheless, it is an absolute moral truth that the people who make the rules should stick by the spirit as well as the letter of them.

"No doubt Sue Gray's inquiry will get to the bottom of exactly how these events were organised, who was there, and what happened at them; and no doubt consequences will follow.

The leaked email, obtained by ITV, suggests around 100 members of staff were invited to "socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden" in May 2020.

It was allegedly sent by Martin Reynolds, Principal Private Secretary to The Prime Minister, asking them to "bring your own booze" to Downing Street that evening.

The lockdown rules at the time stated that you could only see one other person outside your house at a time, outdoors and at a two-metre distance.

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