Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a coronavirus briefing at Downing Street on January 4, 2022
Jack Hill – WPA Pool/Getty Images
- Boris Johnson’s spokesman refused to answer 25 questions about an alleged Downing Street party during lockdown.
- Prime minister’s senior aide invited over 100 people to a lockdown-breaking party in May 2020, a leaked email said.
- He said the government would not comment on the matter due to an ongoing inquiry about the alleged parties.
Boris Johnson’s spokesperson refused to comment 25 times on reports that his senior aide invited more than 100 people to a “bring your own booze” during the national COVID-19 lockdown in May 2020.
The UK prime minister is under intense pressure after a leaked email published by ITV News on Monday showed that Martin Reynolds, his Principal Private Secretary, invited government staff to a party in the Downing Street garden on May 2020.
His email said: “Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”
Johnson and his wife Carrie are among those who attended the party, ITV News reported.
During a daily briefing on Tuesday the prime minister’s official spokesperson refused to comment in response to dozens of questions on the claims.
He said the government would wait until an independent report is published by Sue Gray, the civil servant investigating multiple claims of rulebreaking parties held in Downing Street and in other government buildings.
Asked why the prime minister had deferred the matter to Sue Gray rather than commenting on reports, the spokesperson said: “Whilst this investigation is ongoing, I can’t comment on the reports and claims including those we’ve seen today. It wouldn’t be appropriate to do so.”
He later added: “Given the claims and speculation that has been reported on, what’s right is that the independent inquiry is allowed to carry out its work, and we’re not seen to prejudge that in any way.”
This morning Edward Argar, a health minister, told Sky News it would be “making a leap” to assume that Johnson had any knowledge of or involvement with the party.
On the same day that the party is said to have taken place, the Metropolitan Police published a tweet reminding people that lockdown rules meant that people were not allowed to mix in large groups.
—Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) May 20, 2020
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