UK Government Accused of Having Yet Another Lockdown Party

TOPSHOT - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual press conference to update the nation on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on January 4, 2022. - British hospitals have switched to a "war footing" due to staff shortages …
Photo by JACK HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top civil servant allegedly arranged a garden party during Britain’s first lockdown.

Civil servant Martin Reynolds, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Principal Private Secretary, allegedly organised a boozy garden party on the 20th of May 2020 while most Brits were in lockdown.

Reynolds allegedly sent out an email for the event which was said to have advertised there would be “socially distanced drinks” while the rest of the country was supposed to stay at home, permitted to leave for essential purposes only.

Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former Chief Advisor, exposed the 20th of May event on the 7th of January 2022, on his Substack, claiming that he along with multiple other Downing Street staff received an invite to the party.

Cummings went on to say that he was aware of “various parties” that occurred after he resigned and the “PM was aware of them”. He also alleged that there is photographic evidence of these potentially illegal event and some photos are “picturing the PM”. Cummings has not provided any specifics on these alleged events, however.

Interestingly, Cummings denied that an earlier event on the 15th of May — that caused widespread controversy after a photo of No 10 leaders and staffers enjoying cheese and wine in their garden was exposed the press — was a party and not a meeting as many have accused.

However, Cummings admitted he was implicated in the 15th of May event as he was pictured in the garden bash holding a glass of wine, whereas he wasn’t present at the 20th of May.

Cummings also attempted to justify the drinking culture at Number 10 by saying: “A real ‘culture problem’ in No 10 is not people having a drink in the evening, it’s that so few people in No 10/70 Whitehall work really hard and instead bitch about ‘work life balance’, a true sign of decadence”.

The Telegraph claims to have corroborated some of Cummings’ allegations, saying they have three separate sources who have confirmed there was an email invite to a drinks event on the 20th of May, which included a “bring your own booze” message.

The email is however understood to have been deleted from Number 10’s email system, and no email has been printed in the press as of yet.

On the 20th of May 2020, the same day this party allegedly took place, Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary at the time, advised Brits that they could only meet one person outdoors at a time, and encouraged social distancing.

Dowden in his address repeatedly emphasised that people should stick to the lockdown rules, saying phrases such as: “stay at home as much as possible”, “work from home if you can”, and “limit contact with other people”.

The exposure of this party follows multiple other alleged lockdown breaches by the Conservative Party-led British government, and the Cabinet Office is already investigating two alleged lockdown rule-breaching Number 10 gatherings.

The leadership of the Conservative Party were also caught having at least two Christmas parties in 2020 while most of the country was in Tier 4 restrictions, which prohibited household mixing. One of these parties took place at the Conservative Party headquarters, which prompted the resignation of attendee and 2021 London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey from the police and crime committee of the London Assembly.

Another is said to have been held on the 18th of December at Number 10, was attended by 40-50 staffers and with Boris Johnson allegedly hosting a festive quiz.

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