Boris Johnson pouring drinks ‘implies he started lockdown party’ 

A fresh report suggests prime minister Boris Johnson instigated one of the No 10 parties that he denied attending, according to Labour.

PM started No 10 lockdown party – report

Boris Johnson pouring drinks ‘implies he started lockdown party’ 

A fresh report suggests prime minister Boris Johnson instigated one of the No 10 parties that he denied attending, according to Labour. 

Angela Rayner spoke out following reports from the Sunday Times about a gathering that took place in Downing Street on Friday 13 November 2020 – the report claims the gathering because a leaving party when the PM arrived and started pouring drinks.

Law breaker Boris may get ‘at least three more fines’ as partygate rumbles on

She said: “While the British public was making huge sacrifices, Boris Johnson was breaking the law.

“If the latest reports are true, it would mean that not only did the prime minister attend parties, but he had a hand in instigating at least one of them. He has deliberately misled the British people at every turn.

“The prime minister has demeaned his office. The British people deserve better. While Labour has a plan for tackling the cost of living crisis, Tory MPs are too busy defending the indefensible actions of Boris Johnson.”

The latest report will only add pressure to the PM to call a Commons debate about whether he lied to parliament when he told MPs repeatedly that parties did not take place at No 10 and Covid rules were followed

Opposition parties are deciding on how best to force a vote on this, one possibility is tabling a motion saying Boris Johnson has been in contempt of parliament. 

The PM has already said that he plans to correct the record when MPs return on Tuesday following the Easter break, It will be the PM and Rishi Sunak’s first appearance at the Commons since it was announced they were both fined for breaking lockdown rules at a gathering in June 2020. 

The PM is likely to apologise in the Commons for breaching the rules and is expected to reiterate that it was an inadvertent breach of rules and that he never intentionally misled MPs in his many comments about Partygate in the Commons chamber. The ministerial code says intentionally misleading MPs – lying to them – is a resigning matter. 

Partygate and the PM 

The PM is facing at least three more fines over Partygate – one of which relates to an event he attended to mark the departure of Lee Cain in November 2020. 

The Sunday Times claims this did not feel like a leaving party until the PM turned up. “He said he wanted to say a few words for Lee and started pouring drinks for people and drinking himself,” a source told the paper.

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A source familiar with what happened also confirmed this account to the Guardian. The report says nobody had organised a leaving do in advance – although it was usual at the time for staff in the press office to drink on Friday evenings – but apparently, when the PM encouraged people to join in, staff felt obliged to. 

This event is being investigated by the Met Police along with another gathering on the same day in the prime minister’s Downing Street flat, where his wife Carrie Johnson, is alleged to have held a party to mark the departure of Cain and Dominic Cummings. 

PM to face MPs in Commons

At PMQs in December 2021, Labour MP Catherine West directly asked the PM if there was a party in Downing Street on 13 November. The PM replied: “No, but I am sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times.”

Green party MP Caroline Lucas has confirmed she had written to the Commons Speaker asking if he would allow the PM and chancellor Rishi Sunak to be held to account by MPs for misleading parliament. 

In her letter, she said: “It is … appropriate that MPs have a way of scrutinising what’s happened, and for [Johnson and Sunak] potentially to be found in contempt of parliament.”

This matter could also be referred to the standards committee or the privileges committee, or MPs could hold a vote on a motion saying the PM was in contempt of parliament, Lucus added. “The last would be quickest and therefore potentially most appropriate,” she said.

Opposition parties are looking at all options before a potential vote but remain aware Boris Johnson would probably win because of the size of the Conservative majority. But believe it would be embarrassing for Tory MPs to have to vote to exonerate him.

Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told Radio 4’s The World This Weekend that he believed the PM had spoken “in good faith” about Partygate. 

Referring to the birthday party penalty, Rees-Mogg said: “Many people would think that they were in accordance with the rules, when they were meeting people they were with every day, who happened to wish them a happy birthday, because that was the day it was.

“I think that was a perfectly rational thing to believe. Now the police have decided otherwise and the police have an authority. But he wasn’t thinking something irrational or unreasonable, that that was within the rules.”


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