Workers inside Downing Road held two employees leaving occasions that includes alcohol, and one with loud music, on the night earlier than Prince Philip’s funeral in April final 12 months, when such social contact remained banned, in line with new allegations reported on Thursday.

Eyewitnesses instructed the Each day Telegraph {that a} mixed whole of about 30 individuals took half in what gave the impression to be social occasions in numerous components of Downing Road, earlier than each gatherings mixed within the backyard.

In response to one attender, a employees member was despatched with a suitcase to the Co-op on the Strand, a brief stroll away, returning with the case stuffed with bottles of wine.

Philip’s funeral befell within the personal chapel at Windsor Fort the subsequent day, Saturday 17 April, with the Queen sitting alone to maintain social distancing.

Boris Johnson was not at Downing Road that night, having gone to the prime ministerial nation retreat, Chequers, on the Thursday night and remaining into the weekend.

On the time, England was in stage two of the federal government’s gradual rest from lockdown. As much as six individuals or two households may meet exterior, whereas indoors, individuals may solely socialise with their family or help bubble.

The claims are set to heap but extra strain on the prime minister, who is facing calls to resign, together with from a few of his personal MPs, after admitting he took part in an event within the No 10 backyard in Might 2020, in the course of the first Covid lockdown.

Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP who supported Johnson when he efficiently ran as Tory chief, introduced he has handed in a letter of no confidence within the prime minister and known as for him to depart inside three months.

The main Brexiter, who campaigned alongside Johnson in the course of the referendum in 2016, instructed the Telegraph there was a “ethical vacuum on the coronary heart of our authorities”.

Bridgen joins 4 Tory MPs, together with the chief of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, who’ve openly called for Johnson to resign.

Conservative get together guidelines say that if greater than 15% of the get together’s MPs, at present 54, submit letters to Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, there needs to be a vote on the management. Ought to Johnson lose such a vote, a management problem would ensue wherein he couldn’t participate.

James Slack, who had been the prime minister’s official spokesman, ‘gave a farewell speech’ at one of the events, said to be his leaving party.
James Slack, who had been the prime minister’s official spokesman, ‘gave a farewell speech’ at one of many occasions, stated to be his leaving get together. {Photograph}: Stefan Rousseau/PA

One of many occasions final April marked the departure from authorities of James Slack, who was the prime minister’s official spokesperson below each Theresa Might and Johnson, earlier than turning into Johnson’s director of communications, in line with the Telegraph. He’s now deputy editor of the Solar.

The opposite leaving occasion was for considered one of Johnson’s private photographers, the paper stated. Witnesses instructed the Telegraph that the occasion to mark the photographer’s departure primarily befell within the basement space of No 10, with loud music taking part in.

Each teams reportedly moved exterior round midnight, with ingesting carrying on into the early hours of the morning. Whereas within the backyard one attender broke a swing belonging to Johnson’s toddler son, Wilfred, a witness instructed the paper.

A Downing Road spokesperson stated, in relation to Slack’s departure: “On this particular person’s final day he gave a farewell speech to thank every group for the work they’d achieved to help him, each those that needed to be within the workplace for work and on a display screen for these working from house.”

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat chief, reiterated his name for Johnson to step down, saying: “The Queen sitting alone, mourning the lack of her husband, was the defining picture of lockdown. Not as a result of she is the Queen, however as a result of she was simply one other particular person, mourning alone like too many others. While she mourned, Quantity 10 partied. Johnson should go.”

The Scottish Nationwide get together’s Westminster chief, Ian Blackford, stated: “Boris Johnson has to go – and he has to go now. He broke the foundations and presided over an conceited tradition of 1 rule for the Tories and one other for the remainder of us. Tory MPs have an obligation to take away him from workplace. It’s their integrity on the road – and so they received’t be forgiven in the event that they refuse to behave.”

Slack was contacted for remark.


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