Cameron accused of leaving Northern Ireland for rave party

Claim will do little to enhance Cameron's reputation at Stormont.

Claim will do little to enhance Cameron’s reputation at Stormont

David Cameron has been forced to deny suggestions that he left talks in Northern Ireland to attend a ‘rave’ party for his wife.

Cameron, and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, arrived in Northern Ireland last Thursday to help take forward talks between the parties over thorny issues such as the past, parades, the flying of flags and coping with budget cuts as a result of Stormont’s blocking of welfare reforms.

Cameron and Kenny left the talks first thing on Friday.

The Daily Mail however has reported that Cameron left early so that he could attend an Ibiza style rave party to celebrate his wife’s birthday at Chequers.

It’s reported that among those attending were comedian Harry Enfield, actress Helena Bonham Carter, designer Karen Millen, Radio 4 presenter Sarah Montague and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Now Labour has called on the PM to answer ‘serious questions’ about the reasons for his ‘abrupt departure’ from the talks. Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Ivan Lewis has said:

“I have no problem with David Cameron attending a family celebration. However, his unwillingness to remain in Northern Ireland for a longer period in order to broker progress caused serious concern at the time.

“This is an incredibly fragile time for political stability in Northern Ireland and the prime minister had a duty to either stay the course or visit at a time when he could give the situation his fullest attention.

“He now has serious questions to answer about whether he was less than truthful about his reasons for an abrupt departure, which made an already fraught situation worse.”

A spokesperson for Downing Street responded to the allegations by pointing out that the two prime ministers took the decision together to leave the talks. The decision, the spokesperson said, was made solely on the position of talks at the time.

Despite the statement however, the story will do little to enhance the prime minister’s credibility in Northern Ireland.

Former Northern Ireland secretaries Peter Hain and Paul Murphy earlier this week criticised Cameron for failing to commit to the talks for a much longer period. Meanwhile Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams dubbed the involvement of Cameron and Kenny ‘little more than a charade’.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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6 Responses to “Cameron accused of leaving Northern Ireland for rave party”

  1. Johnny

    Oh come on, he was only getting HIS priorities right. His mates always come first. I bet that they had a good chuckle about Jeremy’s hilarious japes in Argentina

  2. swat

    Corect! priorities first. When the Unionists stop playing silly b****rs on flags parades and intimidation then maybe the talks can resume.

  3. Norfolk29

    What is Radio 4 presenter Sarah Montague doing at a party given at Chequers by David Cameron. Are the BBC not aware that many of their presenters already show enough bias towards the Tories to constitute a charge that they are closet Tories (a la Paxman). It is hard to listen to people like John Humphreys and others on the Today and World at One without this impression. The debate of the last PM Questions on Wednesday was by no means fair to Tristram Hunt and it was impossible to distinguish between the invective of Martha Kearney and the Tory spokeswoman.

  4. swat

    … and Sinn Fein need to accept ‘Welfare’ as part of the whole NI Deal or pull out altogether.

  5. Patrick O'neill

    im not really a sinn fein fan but our current focus on welfare reform is a colossal failure they are right to oppose cuts without a long term plan to encourage training education and true self employment rather than hiding the unemployed off the books

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    Oh right, they need to accept your beloved austerity, or we get the troubles back.

    Thanks for that.

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