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Email shows Boris Johnson aide invited No 10 staff to lockdown ‘BYOB’ party | Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was accused on Monday evening of an “completely outrageous” breach of lockdown guidelines as a leaked e mail confirmed certainly one of his high officers invited greater than 100 Downing Avenue staff to a “convey your individual booze” party throughout the first lockdown.

The prime minister is believed to have attended the No 10 backyard party on 20 Could 2020 together with Carrie Johnson, then his fiancee, after it was marketed by his principal personal secretary, Martin Reynolds.

“Hello all, after what has been an extremely busy interval we thought it might be good to benefit from the stunning climate and have some socially distanced drinks within the No 10 backyard this night. Please be a part of us from 6pm and convey your individual booze!” the e-mail seen by ITV News mentioned.

It invited simply over 100 workers to the gathering at a time when social mixing was banned besides with one different particular person from one other family outdoor in a public place.

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About 30 to 40 are mentioned to have attended, with meals and wine set out on tables, however some staff reportedly expressed reservations on the time.

“Um. Why is Martin encouraging a mass gathering within the backyard?” one staffer mentioned, in accordance to the BBC. One other requested: “Is that this for actual?”

On the identical day, Oliver Dowden, the tradition secretary, had reminded the general public at a press convention: “You possibly can meet one particular person exterior of your family in an out of doors, public place supplied that you simply keep two metres aside.”

The Metropolitan police had tweeted telling folks they might have a picnic, train or do sport exterior offering you’re “by yourself, with folks you reside with, or simply you and one different particular person”.

On Monday evening the Liberal Democrats mentioned they might be reporting the Downing Avenue party to the police.

Johnson will now come below big stress to clarify his personal position within the gathering, whether or not he performed any half within the invitation given the phrase “we thought it might be good” and why his workplace didn’t hear to alleged warnings from his former aide, Dominic Cummings, that it appeared to be towards the principles. Cummings revealed the existence of the 20 Could party in a weblog on Friday.

Johnson’s spokesperson declined to remark in mild of a seamless inquiry into potential breaches of lockdown in Downing Avenue. No 10 didn’t deny this weekend that Johnson and his spouse, Carrie, whom he married in Could 2021, attended the occasion.

Tory MPs have been livid concerning the leaked e mail on Monday evening. One frontbencher mentioned: “I feel that is the worst uncovered the prime minister has ever been by these leaks. There’s no clarification, there’s no manner to distance himself. His solely saviour is that if the general public has given up caring.”

A senior Tory insider mentioned: “The foundations weren’t simply tweaked however snapped in half. That is now extremely shut to the PM. It’s very difficult to sack somebody [Reynolds] for a party he [Johnson] attended.”

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The party got here 5 days after a 15 Could 2020 “wine and pizza” party in Downing Avenue within the backyard and inside No 10, reported by the Guardian, with staff consuming late into the night.

After No 10 insisted staff have been working, the Guardian printed {a photograph} of Boris and Carrie Johnson sitting with officers at a desk with wine and cheese, with 15 different staff within the background.

There have been reviews of at the least 5 different alleged gatherings in Downing Avenue and Whitehall in winter 2020, together with a Christmas party, leaving do, quiz, No 11 flat party and drinks on the Division for Training.

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Downing Avenue is now going through calls to make sure that Johnson himself shall be personally interviewed by the Sue Grey inquiry about gatherings throughout the first lockdown.

Relations of those that died from Covid reacted with anger to the leaked e mail. Hannah Brady, a spokesperson for Covid-19 Bereaved Households for Justice, mentioned: “My dad died simply 4 days earlier than this e mail was despatched out, he was solely 55 and was a match and wholesome key employee … to suppose that while it was occurring, Boris Johnson was making the ‘many of the climate’ and throwing a party for 100 folks is actually past perception.

(*10*)The email that proves over 100 staff were invited to a drinks party in the No 10 garden at the height of the lockdown.
The e-mail that proves over 100 staff have been invited to a drinks party within the No 10 backyard on the peak of the lockdown. {Photograph}: @PaulBrandITV

“On the time, everybody would have recognized that going to a party was unsuitable, so how can these working the nation have thought it was OK? May there be a extra disgraceful instance of ‘one rule for them, and one other rule for the remainder of us’?

“To make issues worse, in September final 12 months I sat in that very same backyard, seemed the prime minister within the eyes and instructed him how my dad had died. He instructed me he had ‘finished every thing he may’ to shield my dad, realizing that he had partied in that very same spot the very day that dad’s loss of life certificates was signed. It makes me really feel sick to give it some thought.”

Different bereaved relations additionally made clear their anger after the e-mail was leaked.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy chief, mentioned: “Boris Johnson has persistently proven that he has no regard for the principles he places in place for the remainder of us. He’s making an attempt to get officers to take the autumn for his personal errors, however he units the tone for the way in which Downing Avenue and the remainder of authorities operates.

“On the time this party occurred, key employees on the frontline have been working around the clock to maintain us all protected, folks suffered loneliness and loss in unimaginably powerful circumstances.”

Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster chief, mentioned the e-mail was “completely outrageous”. “Boris Johnson should come clear and admit whether or not he attended, or was conscious of, this Covid rule-breaking party in his personal again backyard,” he mentioned.

“If the prime minister had a shred of integrity or an oz of disgrace, he would have resigned many months in the past. He has no ethical authority left, and as he gained’t go – his Tory MPs have an obligation to take away him from energy.”

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