Boris Johnson and “over 100 people” were allegedly invited to a government party during lockdown

Written by Amy Beecham

A leaked email appears to reveal that over 100 people were invited to a party during lockdown, which Boris Johnson is believed to have attended.

The Metropolitan police are currently considering an investigation into reports that Boris Johnson aide’s invited more than 100 employees toa “bring your own booze” party during the first lockdown, when social mixing was banned.

The prime minister is understood to have attended the garden party at 10 Downing Street on 20 May 2020 along with Carrie Johnson, then his fiancee, after it was advertised by his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds.

“Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!” the email seen by ITV News read.

On the same day, culture secretary Oliver Dowden reminded the public at a press conference: “You can meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor, public place provided that you stay two metres apart.”

Boris Johnson’s spokesperson declined to comment in light of a continuing inquiry into potential breaches of lockdown in Downing Street, but did not deny that the Johnsons were present at the event.

Following the leaked email, the Met said it was “aware of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at Downing Street on 20 May 2020” and said it had made contact with the Cabinet Office.

The force has previously said it was policy “not to investigate retrospective breaches of such regulations” after reports of at least five other alleged gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall in winter 2020, including a Christmas party, leaving do, quiz, Number 11 flat party and drinks at the Department for Education.

The party came five days after a 15 May 2020 “wine and pizza” party in the Downing Street garden and inside Number 10, reported by the Guardian, with staff drinking late into the evening.

After Number 10 insisted staff were working, the Guardian published a photograph of Boris and Carrie Johnson sitting with officials at a table with wine and cheese, with 15 other staff in the background.

Boris Johnson claps for carers on 14 May, six days before the alleged party that broke lockdown rules

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner responded to the reports, saying: “Boris Johnson has consistently shown that he has no regard for the rules he puts in place for the rest of us.

“He is trying to get officials to take the fall for his own mistakes, but he sets the tone for the way Downing Street and the rest of government operates.”

NHS palliative care doctor Rachel Clarke tweeted: “While we could only meet 1 person outdoors, @10DowningStreet invited 100 people to a party.

While we obeyed the rules, @BorisJohnson stuck two fingers up to them.

“Make the most of the lovely weather”??

363 people died of Covid that day.

While they enjoyed a bloody booze up.”

NHS nurse Nic Cicutti also wrote: “In early May 2020, my sister-in-law Tricia, a head of nursing at GOSH died of Covid after weeks on a ventilator. She’d gone back to the front line at the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson invited 100 guests to a garden party at 10 Downing Street. Speechless.”

Following the previous reports, a Cabinet Office inquiry is currently taking place into a number of alleged parties in government buildings in 2020. 

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