Boris Johnson 'attended party in No 10 during first lockdown in May 2020', sources claim
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Boris Johnson ‘attended party in No 10 during first lockdown in May 2020’, sources claim

Some staff drank until late into the evening, sources allege

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Boris Johnson joined No 10 staff for a party in Downing Street during the first lockdown in May last year, sources have alleged.

The claims raise questions about whether coronavirus and lockdown rules were flouted over several months.

Previous allegations have suggested parties were held by Conservatives in December and November of last year.

But now it is claimed the Prime Minister reportedly spent about 15 minutes with staff at an alleged social gathering on 15 May 2020, according to reports from The Independent and The Guardian.

Boris Johnson is alleged to have attended a party, in No 10. Here he applauds
Boris Johnson is alleged to have attended a party in No 10. Here he applauds key workers with wife Carrie Johnson (Credit: W8 Media / SplashNews.com)

What is alleged about Boris Johnson attending a party during lockdown?

The reports claim Mr Johnson told an aide inside No 10 they deserved a drink for “beating back” COVID.

Sources claim about 20 staff drank wine and spirits and ate pizza following a press conference on 15 May 2020.

Read more: Boris Johnson and wife Carrie announce baby daughter’s name

It is alleged the activity happened in offices inside No 10 and in the garden.

Some staff stayed drinking until late into the evening, according to the reports.

Who else was in allegedly in attendance?

That day’s press conference was fronted by former Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The sources said Mr Hancock was also seen at the gathering.

It is reported that sources described it as having a “celebratory” feel. The alleged event followed loosening of some restrictions and good weather in London that day.

While sources claim both Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock were present for a short time when staff and aides were drinking, there is no suggestion they drank themselves, or stayed late.

It is claimed the gathering occurred following a press conference with Matt Hancock
It is claimed the gathering occurred following a press conference with Matt Hancock (Credit: SplashNews.com)

What were the rules at the time?

Coronavirus rules at the time allowed only two people from different households to meet outside, at a distance of two metres.

That evening Mr Hancock had urged viewers to “stay at home as much as is possible”.

Read more: Over 90% of GMB viewers want Boris Johnson to resign over No 10 party claims, poll shows

He also asked them to “please stick with the rules and don’t take risks” during the good weather.

It was noted in the press conference that 10,700 people were in hospital with the virus that day.

Additionally, there were 384 deaths due to COVID.

Boris Johnson response to party attendance allegations

Asked for comment about the PM’s alleged “beating back” comments and his presence at any gathering, his official spokesperson responded: “In the summer months Downing Street staff regularly use the garden for some meetings.

“On 15 May 2020 the Prime Minister held a series of meetings throughout the afternoon, including briefly with the then health and care secretary and his team in the garden following a press conference.

“The Prime Minister went to his residence shortly after 7pm. A small number of staff required to be in work remained in the Downing Street garden for part of the afternoon and evening.”

covid news uk
Boris Johnson has previously insisted he did not break rules (Credit: Splashnews.com)

Matt Hancock response to party attendance allegations

A spokesperson for Mr Hancock described the claims from sources as “not true”.

They said: “After the press conference, which finished at approximately 5.53pm, Matt debriefed his own team, then went to the Downing Street garden to debrief the Prime Minister.

“He left Downing Street at 6.32pm and went back to the Department for Health and Social Care.”

Investigation into alleged parties

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has been tasked with investigating press reports suggesting gatherings were held last Christmas.

They include claims a quiz night was held in Downing Street, with Boris Johnson ‘acting as quizmaster at one point’.

He has been widely mocked for insisting no rules were broken.

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