A “bring your own booze party” was attended by Boris Johnson during the first Covid lockdown and a gathering to mark the Prime Minister’s birthday is among 12 parties being investigated by police.
In her report, Sue Gray said that only four of the 16 events she investigated are not currently the subject of Metropolitan Police investigations.
The parties investigated by Met are:
– May 20, 2020: Bring Your Own Booze Party:
A leaked email from the Prime Minister’s Primary Private Secretary Martin Reynolds showed that No. 10 employees were invited to “bring your own booze” to an event in Downing St. Garden.
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.
– 18 June 2020: The Cabinet Office leaves:
A gathering in the 70 Whitehall building to mark the departure of a No. 10 private secretary who had not previously been revealed.
– June 19, 2020: Boris Johnson’s 56th birthday:
Downing Street has admitted that staff were “briefly gathered” in the Cabinet Room in what was reportedly a surprise gathering for the Prime Minister, hosted by his then-fiancé (now wife), Carrie Symonds.
The PA news agency was told that Lulu Lytle, the interior designer behind the lavish renovations of the Downing Street apartment, briefly attended while performing work on Downing Street.
No 10, however, has rejected a report that family and friends later that evening were hosts upstairs to celebrate the occasion.
– November 13, 2020: Downing Street apartment does:
Ms Symonds reportedly hosted parties at the official 11th floor apartment where she and Mr Johnson live, including an event on November 13, the night of Dominic Cummings’ bitter departure.
A spokesman for the prime minister’s wife has called the allegation “total nonsense”.
– 13 November 2020: Graduation party for senior assistant:
According to reports at the time, Mr Johnson was giving a closing speech to Lee Cain, his outgoing communications director and a close ally of Mr Cummings.
– 17 December 2020: “Christmas party” by the Cabinet Office:
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case removed himself from the investigation into Whitehall parties – to be replaced by Mrs Gray – after reports surfaced of a cabinet meeting.
It was reported that the do had been organized by a private secretary in Mr Case’s team and that it was included in digital calendars such as: “Christmas party!” and included an online quiz.
The cabinet office said Mr Case did not play a role in the event, “but walked through the team’s office on his way to his own office”.
– December 17, 2020: Leaves drinks for former Covid Taskforce boss:
Former Covid Task Force Governor Kate Josephs said she was “really sorry” for leaving drinks in the Cabinet Office.
– December 17, 2020: No 10 leaving do:
A departure for a retiring Downing Street official.
– December 18, 2020: Downing Street Christmas Party:
Officials and advisers reportedly gave speeches, enjoyed a cheese board, drank together and exchanged secret Santa gifts, though the prime minister is not believed to have attended.
Johnson’s spokeswoman, Allegra Stratton, resigned after a video surfaced in which she joked about a “fictional party” at a fake press conference;
– January 14, 2021: Several Downing Street leaves drinks:
A meeting in No. 10 on the departure of two private secretaries.
– April 16, 2021; Leaves drinks 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 years in accordance with the Covid rules at the time, two departures were reportedly held in No. 10.
Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace after reported details of alcoholic drinks parties, including one for outgoing communications director James Slack.
– Events not subject to police investigation:
– 15 May 2020: Cheese and wine in No 10 garden:
A photograph appeared of a number of groups gathered in Garden No. 10, including Mr Johnson, Mrs Symonds, Mr Cummings and Mr Reynolds, sitting together on the terrace.
– 27 November 2020: Another special adviser leaves:
Johnson reportedly gave a closing speech at a rally for Cleo Watson, another ally of Mr Cummings.
– 10 December 2020: The Education Department’s Christmas drinks:
Then Education Secretary Gavin Williamson reportedly held a party and gave a short speech at his department’s Whitehall headquarters.
– December 15, 2020: An online Christmas quiz in No. 10:
The Prime Minister appeared on the screens of the participants at the quiz, but insisted that he did not break any rules.