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PM hosts street party - indoors
The Downing Street Jubilee party was a great Big Society occasion despite the festivities being held inside, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
While millions of people braved the weather up and down the country to celebrate the Queen's 60 years on the throne, and thousands more lined the Thames to see the Royal flotilla, officials at Number 10 executed an about U-turn and held the Prime Minister's party inside.
Mr Cameron's Big Society project has been mocked by critics who say people do not know what it means. But today's party in Downing Street was the perfect example of the Big Society, he said.
The Prime Minister said: "We had a great street party, but inside Downing Street rather than outside.
"We had elderly people, we had Scouts, we had Girl Guides, Brownies, people who had been organising the Big Lunch. The oldest 96, the youngest was four or five, so it was a great Big Society occasion and a real pleasure to be able to host this."
He added: "Above all, what we are celebrating today is 60 years she has given of service to our country, but also this extraordinary institution that stands above politics, that brings the country together, that is something that we are celebrating today that I think is such a valuable thing in our country and across other parts of the world."
He said he had seen the flotilla on television but was also really impressed by Jubilee celebrations across the UK.
Mr Cameron said: "Everyone is celebrating in their own way and it is bringing people together, bringing people out into our communities, helping us to get to know our neighbours better. So there is a real purpose to this whole weekend of celebration. We are celebrating something important but it is also enriching our country and our society at the same time.
"As a country, I think we understand we are having difficult economic times but I don't think people see any difficulty in celebrating something as great as Her Majesty's contribution over 60 years at a time of economic difficulty. Some had wondered whether it would be possible to do that. It is more than possible.
"It's something people are enjoying and finding great pleasure in doing."