When indoor gatherings were banned due to coronavirus restrictions, the Prime Minister reportedly told aides to “let off steam”, sources told the Mirror.
It’s also alleged that a drinks fridge was delivered to Downing Street so that alcoholic drinks could be chilled.
This comes after Number 10 apologised to the Queen after lockdown parties went ahead.
Also in the news recently has been James Slack, Boris Johnson’s former director of communications, and Kate Josephs, former head of the government’s Covid Taskforce, who have both apologised for being involved in parties when coronavirus restrictions meant such gatherings were banned.
Which alleged parties took place during lockdown?
Here’s a list of parties that allegedly took place – with several having been admitted to so far.
- May 15 2020: Downing Street garden party – Claimed was a work meeting, with Boris Johnson saying: “Those were meetings of people at work, talking about work.”
- May 20 2020: BYOB garden party – The revelation came in an email, leaked to ITV, from Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds to more than 100 Downing Street employees asking them to “bring your own booze” for an evening gathering. The Prime Minister confirmed he attended the event for 25 minutes.
- November 13 2020: Leaving party for senior aide – According to reports at the time, Mr Johnson gave a leaving speech for Lee Cain, his departing director of communications.
- November 13 2020: Johnsons’ flat party – Allegations the Prime Minister’s then fiancee hosted parties in their flat. These allegations have been denied.
- November 25 2020: Treasury drinks – A Treasury spokesperson told The Times a number of staff had come into the office to work on the Spending Review. They said: “We have been made aware that a small number of those staff had impromptu drinks around their desks after the event.”
- November 27 2020: A second staff leaving do – The Mirror reported that the Prime Minister gave a farewell speech to an aide at the end of November while the lockdown in England was still in place. Other reports have said the leaving do was for Cleo Watson, a senior Downing Street aide and ally of Mr Cummings.
- December 10 2020: Department for Education party – Social event confirmed
- December 14 2020: Party featuring Tory London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey and staff – Confirmed with Shaun Bailey quitting his role after a picture emerged of him in attendance.
- December 15 2020: Downing Street quiz – Downing Street insist this was a virtual event
- December 16 2020: Department for Transport party – Confirmed and described as following social distancing rules by a DfT spokesman.
- December 17 2020: Cabinet Office “Christmas party!” – A quiz is confirmed by the Cabinet Office to have taken place.
- December 17 2020: Leaving drinks for former Covid Taskforce head – Confirmed and Kate Josephs said she was cooperating with a probe by senior civil servant Sue Gray.
I am today making a statement. I am truly sorry. pic.twitter.com/xWByiiKfV3
— Kate Josephs (@katejosephs) January 14, 2022
- December 18 2020: Christmas party at Downing Street – Officials and advisers reportedly made speeches, enjoyed a cheese board, drank together and exchanged Secret Santa gifts, although the Prime Minister is not thought to have attended. Mr Johnson’s spokeswoman Allegra Stratton quit after being filmed joking about it with fellow aides at a mock press conference.
- April 16 2021: Drinks and dancing the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral – Confirmed. The Telegraph reported advisers and civil servants gathered after work for two separate events on the Friday night. They were to mark the departure of James Slack and one of the PM’s personal photographers. Mr Slack, who left his No 10 role to become deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun newspaper, said he was sorry for the “anger and hurt” caused by his leaving do, while Downing Street apologised to the Queen.