‘Handful’ of No 10 staff join walkout

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A “HANDFUL” of staff at 10 Downing Street joined yesterday’s strike action, a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed, but operations at the heart of Government ran as normal.

None of the Prime Minister’s senior advisers were involved, although Mr Cameron’s spokeswoman and special adviser Gabby Bertin did stand in for striking Border Agency officials at Heathrow Airport.

Proposals for a crèche at Number 10 for Government staff whose children’s schools were closed did not materialise and none shadowed their parents at work.

Mr Cameron joked last week that his son Elwen would spend the day helping him run the country, but his son spent the day at a friend’s house.

A spokesman said: “Downing Street looks much the same to any other day and there is no great impact.”

A “small number” of Downing Street staff volunteered to help to staff immigration checks at London airports.

Small picket lines from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) and GMB unions formed at the front gates of parliament.

Police officers were brought in from outside the capital to man search points after a large number of Metropolitan Police security officers joined the strikes.

Around 90 per cent of the 280 Commons security officers who are PCS members walked out, according to the union.

The Commons chamber was unaffected but five canteens, bars and restaurants were closed, including the Jubilee café, which is usually open to the public.

The Strangers’ Bar, which is reserved for MPs and their guests, remained open.