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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 Road staff to a “convey your individual booze” party throughout the first lockdown. The police are actually investigating.

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

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

It invited simply over 100 staff to the gathering at a time when social mixing was banned besides with one different particular person from one other family open air 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 may meet one particular person exterior of your family in an out of doors, public place supplied that you just keep two metres aside.”

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

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On Monday evening following information of the leaked e-mail, the Met mentioned it was “conscious of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Well being Safety Rules at Downing Road on 20 Might 2020” and mentioned it had made contact with the Cupboard Workplace. Senior officers are anticipated to talk about the scenario on Tuesday morning. The drive has beforehand mentioned it was coverage “not to examine retrospective breaches of such laws”.

Johnson will now come beneath enormous strain to clarify his personal function 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 pay attention to alleged warnings from his former aide, Dominic Cummings, that it appeared to be in opposition to the foundations. Cummings revealed the existence of the 20 Might 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 Road. No 10 didn’t deny this weekend that Johnson and his spouse, Carrie, whom he married in Might 2021, attended the occasion.

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

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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 tough to sack somebody [Reynolds] for a party he [Johnson] attended.”

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The party got here 5 days after a 15 Might 2020 “wine and pizza” party in Downing Road within the backyard and inside No 10, reported by the Guardian, with staff ingesting 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 Road and Whitehall in winter 2020, together with a Christmas party, leaving do, quiz, No 11 flat party and drinks on the Division for Training.

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

Kin 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 assume that while it was occurring, Boris Johnson was making the ‘a lot of the climate’ and throwing a party for 100 folks is really past perception.

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 identified that going to a party was improper, 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, regarded the prime minister within the eyes and instructed him how my dad had died. He instructed me he had ‘accomplished 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 kin additionally made clear their anger after the e-mail was leaked.

So a booze up at No.10 on 20 Might, 2020. The identical day we have been anxious and concern crammed, ready at house to hear if we may go into hospital to see my Dad who was nearing the tip of his life. 9 days later he was gone. Can not categorical how a lot I despise this authorities. https://t.co/PRyd09byTH

— Simon Thomas (@SimonThomasTV) January 10, 2022

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy chief, mentioned: “Boris Johnson has constantly proven that he has no regard for the foundations 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 best way Downing Road and the remainder of authorities operates.

“On the time this party befell, key employees on the frontline have been working around the clock to preserve us all secure, folks suffered loneliness and loss in unimaginably robust 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 received’t go – his Tory MPs have an obligation to take away him from energy.”

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