At the height of lockdown, as evidenced by an email, Downing Street personnel had a celebration with drinks

At the height of lockdown, as evidenced by an email, Downing Street personnel had a celebration with drinks

During the nationwide lockdown, Downing Street personnel were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden to "enjoy the great weather".

An email obtained by ITV News shows a party on May 20, 2020, when the rest of the country was barred from meeting more than one person outdoors.

Martin Reynolds, the Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary, sent the email to almost a hundred people at Number 10, including advisors, speechwriters, and door staff.
Mr Reynolds, who runs Boris Johnson's private office since October 2019, says:

"Hello,

It was good to take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy some socially distanced cocktails in the No10 garden this evening.

"Come at 6pm and bring your own booze!"

Around 40 employees ate and drank in the garden that evening. Among them were the PM and his wife Carrie Johnson.' Former PM's advisor Dominic Cummings hinted at the May 20 celebration in a blog on Friday.

The email comes after reports that workers gathered in the garden on May 15, with a photograph showing Mr Johnson and his wife sitting on the terrace with No 10 personnel including Martin Reynolds.
The PM has previously said the photo depicted a professional meeting. A social event, as indicated by the email concerning the drinks party on May 20, is far more difficult to explain.

Less than an hour before the drinks, former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden reminded the rest of England that outdoor meetings must be in pairs. Large gatherings were still forbidden until June 2020, when the 'rule of six' was allowed outside.

According to the latest discoveries, the PM should be questioned as part of an internal inquiry into a series of Downing Street parties, which began BBC News broadcast recordings of workers laughing and joking about a December 19 2020 event.
Allegra Stratton, then the PM's spokesman, said there was "no social distancing" during the dinner, which staff jokingly referred to as a "business meeting with cheese and wine."

Since then, several other people have been accused.

Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, is now leading the cabinet office investigation into the accusations after Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was accused of knowing at least one party.

He was asked about the party on May 20th on Monday, and he said, "All of it is being investigated by Sue Gray."

Due to the Sue Gray investigation, Downing Street declined to comment.
It's dreadful and I think many people who see the facts today will not only think Boris Johnson's falsehoods are coming up with him, but will see it as simply reprehensible that when they were ordered to obey the rules, Boris Johnson and Number 10 broke the laws.

"It's disgraceful," Ms Rayner said.

"Yet again it's one rule for Boris Johnson and another for us," wrote Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey.

"A large garden party at his property while folks died alone," he added.

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