Grinning Rishi Sunak pictured 200 miles from London as Boris faced 'partygate' grilling

12 January 2022, 11:01 | Updated: 12 January 2022, 13:58

Rishi Sunak was seen grinning 200 miles from Westminster where Boris Johnson is fighting for his premiership
Rishi Sunak was seen grinning 200 miles from Westminster where Boris Johnson is fighting for his premiership. Picture: Alamy/Google Maps

By Will Taylor

Rishi Sunak tweeted a grinning photo of his trip to Devon this morning – hundreds of miles away from where Boris Johnson was grilled over "partygate".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Prime Minister faced one of the biggest days of his time at Downing Street, with a PMQs showdown forcing him to break his silence over lockdown event allegations and apologise for attending a No10 garden do in May 2020.

After weeks of claims about get-togethers at No10, a leaked email apparently showing a senior civil servant inviting more than 100 Government staff to a "bring your own booze" party emerged.

Mr Johnson has now apologised for attending but insisted he believed it was a work event.

But before the PM took to the stand for his House of Commons questioning - and to issue a grovelling apology over the saga - Mr Sunak said he had travelled 200 miles to Ilfracombe on the Devon coast.

Read more: Ministers duck out of defending Boris Johnson ahead of PMQs 'partygate' showdown

Read more: How could Boris Johnson try to explain the latest Partygate allegations?

He was pictured smiling as he posed with Selaine Saxby, the Tory MP for North Devon, in the seaside town.

"Excited to be in Ilfracombe this morning with @SelaineSaxby.

"I'm visiting @PallCorporation who protect & purify pharmaceutical drugs including a majority of UK Covid vaccines.

Sunak is 200 miles from Westminster, in Ilfracombe
Sunak is 200 miles from Westminster, in Ilfracombe. Picture: Google Maps

Partygate: Caller 'missed May 2020' due to being on ventilator for month

"They're announcing £60 million of investment at this site creating 200 new local jobs #PlanForJobs."

While Mr Sunak looked to have enjoyed his trip to the picturesque town, his boss faced furious MPs.

On Wednesday morning, before his appearance at Prime Minister's Questions, Tory MPs urged Mr Johnson to apologise and be open about "partygate".

No Government minister was offered up for broadcast interviews ahead of PMQs, while his spokesman refused to comment.

An investigation into "partygate" is under way and it will also examine the May 2020 claims.