BoJo’s Press Chief Spoke at ‘Party’ Govt Claims Didn’t Happen: Reports

TOPSHOT - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a press conference for the latest Covid-19 update in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on December 8, 2021. - The UK government is reintroducing Covid-19 restrictions due to the Omicron variant. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / …
ADRIAN DENNIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s press chief, Jack Doyle, allegedly spoke at the 18th of December “party” that No 10 claimed didn’t happen, according to multiple reports.

Several news outlets including ITV have reported that Prime Minister Johnson’s press secretary Jack Doyle spoke to a crowd of 20-30 people at the alleged party, claimed to have taken place on December 18th last year.

It is also alleged that Doyle gave out “thank you awards” to Number 10 staffers at this event, which took place just two days after London went into a lockdown where social events and the mixing of different households was prohibited.

Doyle’s handing out of “thank you awards”, if confirmed, would add to the growing evidence that the government’s claims that a gathering constituting a “party” did not take place — or that such any such gathering that did occur would have followed the coronavirus legislation.

Alongside Doyle’s alleged awards, an anonymous BBC source has claimed that there was food, drink, and party games at the event. Further complicating matters for Prime Minister Johnson, a video has leaked showing senior Downing Street staff joking about holding a non-socially-distanced gathering, allegedly filmed just four days after the alleged party took place.

Addressing the accusations and footage during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday, Mr Johnson continued to deny that he had knowledge of a party, saying: “I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured.”

Following the reporting of Doyle’s attendance, Downing Street appears to have U-turned on their earlier stance of denying that a party took place, and instead have opened a review into the alleged event.

The leader of the Labour opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, has condemned Boris over the alleged party scandal, tweeting: “Boris Johnson is unfit to lead our country.” Over 66,000 people had ‘liked’ the tweet as of the time of this article’s publication.

Jack Doyle became Johnson’s Press Secretary in 2020 following a career as a journalist at the Daily Mail. Doyle reportedly receives between £140,000 and £144,999 a year for his government role.

News of Doyle’s alleged involvement in a party comes as Johnson is accused of misleading his ethics advisor over the cost of the refurbishment of his flat on Downing Street.

The Tories failed to report £52,801.72 of a £67,801.72 donation that was used for the refurbishment to the Electoral Commission. This has resulted in the Conservatives being fined £17,800 by the Electoral Commission for “failing to accurately report a donation”.

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