Boris Johnson urged to ‘come clean’ about Downing Street parties

It is alleged the Prime Minister's principal private secretary arranged a gathering in the Number 10 garden during lockdown.

Boris Johnson urged to ‘come clean’ about Downing Street parties Getty Images
Boris Johnson: Calls for Prime Minister to 'come clean' over parties during lockdown.

Boris Johnson has been urged to “come clean” about garden parties held during lockdown after a leaked email appeared to show the Prime Minister’s private secretary arranging one held in the Number 10 garden.

Martin Reynolds, the Prime Minister’s principal private secretary, sent an email to more than 100 Downing Street employees asking them to “bring your own booze” for an evening gathering, ITV has reported.

Reynolds said they should “make the most of the lovely weather”, despite the UK being under tough Covid-19 restrictions in May 2020.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, demanded the Prime Minister “come clean and admit whether he attended, or was aware of, this Covid rule-breaking party in his own back garden”.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber added: “People will find it utterly outrageous that while the rest of us were banned from public gatherings, the most powerful people in the Tory Government were boozing up at No 10 Downing Street – proving, yet again, that it’s one rule for them and another for the rest of us.”

Johnson plunged England into its first lockdown in March 2020 and it was not until June 1 that groups of up to six people were allowed to meet outdoors.

The Sunday Times and ITV have alleged that the Prime Minister attended the event with his wife, Carrie Johnson.

On Monday, Blackford blasted Johnson’s Government as “the most corrupt in decades”, and said: “If the Prime Minister had a shred of integrity or an ounce of shame, he would have resigned many months ago. He has no moral authority left, and as he won’t go – his Tory MPs have a duty to remove him from power.”

After the latest revelation, Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said the Prime Minister “should be ashamed” and described the further claims as “despicable”.

“It is terrible and I think many people that see the evidence now will not only think that Boris Johnson’s lies are catching up with him, but will see it as absolutely despicable that when they were actually told to follow the rules, Boris Johnson and No 10 were breaking the rules,” she told ITV News.

“It is disgraceful and he should be ashamed.”