Boris Johnson ‘will claim lockdown bashes were part of the job’

Boris Johnson has received a questionnaire from police investigating allegations of lockdown-breakers in Downing Street.

According to reports, the prime minister may have attended as many as six events under investigation by police.

A ‘bring your own drinking party’ attended by Mr Johnson during the first Covid lockdown and a gathering to celebrate his birthday are among the 12 parties under investigation.

More details have since been reported, indicating that the Conservative Party leader was seen heading to a party at his No. 11 residence the night his former senior aide Dominic Cummings left, and that he attended a farewell meeting briefly before one of his former defense advisers.

The 12 parties under investigation by the Metropolitan Police are:

– May 20, 2020: Bring Your Own Booze party:

A leaked email from Martin Reynolds, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, revealed that no 10 staff members had been invited to ‘bring your own booze’ to an event in the Downing Street garden.

Mr Johnson has admitted he was there for 25 minutes but said he thought it was a “work event” to thank staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

– June 18, 2020: Cabinet Office departure Thu:

Senior official Sue Gray’s interim report said a meeting was held in the 70 Whitehall building to mark the departure of a No. 10 private secretary.

The event had not been previously disclosed, but The Telegraph said the official in question is former home affairs policy adviser Hannah Young, who left Downing Street to take on the role of deputy consul general in New York.

The newspaper said it understood that about 20 people were in attendance, having consumed alcohol.

– June 19, 2020: Boris Johnson’s 56th Birthday:

Downing Street has admitted that the staff met ‘briefly’ in the Cabinet Room in what was reportedly a surprise meeting for the Prime Minister, hosted by his now wife Carrie.

The PA news agency was informed that Lulu Lytle, the interior designer behind the lavish renovations of the Downing Street flat, briefly attended while he worked there.

However, No 10 has denied a report that family and friends had gathered upstairs to celebrate the occasion later that same evening.

– 13 November 2020: Downing Street flat Thu:

Ms Johnson reportedly hosted parties in the official flat above No. 11 where she and Mr Johnson live, including an event on Nov. 13, the night of Dominic Cummings’ bitter departure.

A spokesman for the prime minister’s wife called the claim “complete nonsense.”

But since then, reports have suggested the Prime Minister was seen into the flat on the night in question, with the Mail On Sunday stating that Abba songs, including The Winner Takes It All, came out of the residence.

Mr Cummings, former de facto chief of staff to No. 10, claimed there are photos of parties being held at the flat during the lockdown and said he spoke to people who heard music coming from the Johnsons’ accommodation the night he Downing left Street.

– 13 November 2020: Departure party for senior assistant:

According to reports at the time, Mr. Johnson gave a farewell address to Lee Cain, his outgoing communications director and a close ally of Mr. Cummings.

– December 17, 2020: Cabinet Office ‘Christmas Party’:

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has withdrawn himself from the inquiry into Whitehall parties – to be replaced by Ms Gray – after reports emerged of a meeting in the Cabinet Office.

The Thu was reported to have been organized by a private secretary in Mr. Case’s team and recorded on digital calendars as “Christmas!” and includes an online quiz.

The Cabinet Office said Mr Case had no part in the event “but walked through the team’s office on his way to his own office”.

– December 17, 2020: Departure of drinks for former Covid Taskforce head:

The former director-general of the government’s Covid Taskforce, Kate Josephs, said she “really regretted” leaving drinks in the Cabinet Office.

– December 17, 2020: No. 10 departures do:

A departing Thu was held for a departing Downing Street official.

The Telegraph reported that the staff member in question is Captain Steve Higham, one of Johnson’s private secretaries at the time, who advised on defense and national security matters.

The Mirror, which first reported the event before the police investigation began, said Mr Johnson was only there “for a few minutes”.

Capt Higham became commander of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales in July 2021.

– December 18, 2020: Christmas Party in Downing Street:

Officials and advisers reportedly held speeches, enjoyed a cheese board, drank together and exchanged Secret Santa gifts, although the prime minister was reportedly not present.

Johnson’s spokeswoman, Allegra Stratton, resigned after video surfaced of her pranking a “fictional party” during a fake news conference.

– January 14, 2021: More Downing Street leaving drinks:

In No. 10 a meeting was held to mark the departure of two private secretaries.

According to The Telegraph, the Prime Minister reportedly attended the farewell event, which was for a senior official from the Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The identity of the other official is unknown at this time.

– April 16, 2021: Leaving a drink on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral:

The night before the Queen sat alone at the funeral of her husband of nearly 70, in accordance with then Covid rules, two departure doses were reportedly held at No. 10.

Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace after details emerged about drinking parties, including one for outgoing communications director James Slack.

Events not subject to police investigation:

– May 15, 2020: Cheese and wine in garden no. 10:

A photograph appeared of several groups gathered in yard No. 10, including Mr Johnson, Mrs Johnson, Mr Cummings and Mr Reynolds sitting together on the patio.

– November 27, 2020: Another special advisor leaves:

Mr Johnson reportedly delivered a farewell speech at a meeting for Cleo Watson, another of Mr Cummings’ ally.

– December 10, 2020: Department of Education Christmas drink:

Then education secretary Gavin Williamson reportedly threw a party and gave a short speech at his department’s headquarters in Whitehall.

– December 15, 2020: An online Christmas quiz in No. 10:

The Prime Minister appeared on the screens of the participants of the quiz, but insisted that he did not break any rules.

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