Wed, 30 November 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Why public health policy needs to refocus Partner content
Health
Health
Strengthening the UK Life Sciences Environment Partner content
By MSD
Health
Health
By Tom Sasse
Health
Press releases
By LV=

Dominic Cummings Claims Boris Johnson Gave Go-Ahead To Lockdown Breaking Party

Dominic Cummings Claims Boris Johnson Gave Go-Ahead To Lockdown Breaking Party

(Alamy)

3 min read

Dominic Cummings has said he would “swear under oath” that Boris Johnson green lit a drinks party at No 10 during lockdown, despite the PM claiming he had no prior knowledge of the event.

In a post to his personal Substack, the former senior adviser claimed that Martin Reynolds, the PM’s principal private secretary, spoke to Johnson shortly after over 100 Downing Street staff were invited to the event in the building’s garden.

“I am sure he did check with the PM. (I think it very likely another senior official spoke to the PM about it but I am not sure),” the post states.

Cummings says he also spoke to Johnson to raise his concerns over the party, but that he “waived it aside”.

The post goes on to allege that “a very senior official replied by email saying the invite broke the rules”, and that this email would likely be seen by Sue Gray — the civil servant leading the inquiry into the incident.

“The events of 20 May alone, never mind the string of other events, mean the PM lied to Parliament about parties,” he wrote.

The Prime Minister was forced to apologise to MPs last week after it was revealed he had attended the gathering, which took place while the UK was still in a nationwide lockdown in May 2020.

Johnson has insisted, however, that he was not aware of the event before it began and "believed implicitly" that it "was a work event".

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said today it was "not accurate" to suggest Boris Johnson knew about a party held in the Downing Street garden on 20 May, 2020.

"We made clear over the weekend that it's untrue to say that the Prime Minister was told or warned ahead of that,” he told a briefing for reporters on Monday.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Number 10 said: “It is untrue that the Prime Minister was warned about the event in advance.

“As he said earlier this week he believed implicitly that this was a work event. He has apologised to the House and is committed to making a further statement once the investigation concludes.”

Cummings, who left Downing Street in November 2020, said it was “not credible” to suggest that Reynolds did not seek the PM’s approval prior to the event, and that he would “swear under oath” that the PM had prior knowledge of the event.

He also insisted that there was no drinking culture while he worked there, writing: “No 10 is throwing out as much confusing chaff as possible, such as nonsense about a ‘drinking culture’ intended to shift blame. 

“(There was no ‘drinking culture’ while I was there but the string of parties after I left shows the PM trying to be ‘my own chief of staff’ was disastrous, as he was told it would be.)”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Eleanor Langford - All The MPs Standing Down At The Next General Election

Categories

Coronavirus Health
Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more