Keir Starmer slams Boris Johnson’s crowded G7 barbecue while weddings are restricted

Long-lens shots of the G7 summit barbecue were published by the BBC (Image: ENTERPRISE NEWS AND PICTURES)

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Keir Starmer has hit out after Boris Johnson held a crowded barbecue for world leaders at the G7 summit – while delaying the easing of lockdown.

The Prime Minister bonded with the powerful over the grill with steak and lobster before toasting marshmallows on the beach in Cornwall.

No10 insisted "numbers were below 30" – the legal limit for outdoor gatherings.

But the Mirror counted roughly 40 people in shot in the BBC's footage, including security and waiting staff.

Labour's leader today said the optics of the barbecue "really didn't look good" when Boris Johnson is expected to delay step four of England's lockdown by four weeks tonight.

Boris Johnson speaking to Emmanuel Macron at the private BBQ in a photo released by his PR operation
(Image: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)

Sir Keir told LBC radio: “Imagine if your wedding is next week… you’re now watching at 5 or 6pm tonight, nervous that your wedding may not go ahead in the way – we are supposed to be going to a wedding in three weeks and we don’t know if this is going to happen.

"In the hearts of those people, they will have looked at that and said, ‘that’s just one rule for them and one rule for me and that’s just not on’.

Mr Johnson will give a 6pm press conference where he expected to delay his plan to scrap the six-person limit on indoor gatherings.

Weddings can currently go ahead with a limit of 30 people – and it's thought that cap might still be lifted from June 21, one of the few changes to still go ahead as planned.

Asked about the barbecue, Boris Johnson's spokesman said: "The event last night was done in an entirely Covid-secure way within the existing rules.

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"Those attending the summit had a daily testing regime and the event was held outside.

"This was an informal gathering of the G7 leaders and rightly it is held in private … but you can see it was a relaxed atmosphere and gave the leaders a chance to discuss outside of a formal setting."

Labour's leader told LBC: “I think getting world leaders together is really important and the single most important thing at the moment is global agreement on vaccine rollout across the world because none of will be safe until all of us are.”

But on the barbecue he added: “The optics of that did not look good, they really didn’t look good.

“Tonight we are going to hear from the Prime Minister – probably saying ‘Alas’, that word that means he is about to tell us his plan didn’t work – and that we are in for another four weeks of restrictions.

Keir Starmer said: "The optics of that did not look good, they really didn’t look good"

“I think the optics of that just a few days were not good and a lot of people are going to be pretty frustrated having seen that and hearing what they are going to hear tonight.”

Asked if they broke the rules, he said: “They say they didn’t and I didn’t sit and count the individuals.

“There’s no getting away – the optics matter in these things and people will watch that."

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