Dominic Cummings has accused Boris Johnson of mendacity after No 10 denied the prime minister was warned in opposition to permitting a “convey your individual booze” social gathering throughout the first lockdown.
Johnson admitted to parliament final week that he attended drinks within the Downing Road backyard on 20 Might 2020 however claimed he had not realised it was a social gathering.
The occasion was organised by Johnson’s principal personal secretary (PPS), Martin Reynolds, who instructed folks to “convey your individual booze” – however No 10 denies that the prime minister noticed the emailed invitation to about 100 workers.
It has additionally denied allegations that two senior staffers warned Johnson to not go forward with the drinks occasion, saying this was “not true”.
However Cummings, a former senior aide to the prime minister, wrote a new blog post on Monday difficult that account. He mentioned he personally instructed Reynolds that the invitation broke the foundations and claimed Reynolds replied: “As long as it’s socially distanced I believe it’s OK, I’ll verify with the PM if he’s completely satisfied for it to go forward.”
Cummings then mentioned that in a dialogue over the way forward for the cupboard secretary and Reynolds, he had mentioned to the prime minister one thing like: “Martin’s invited the constructing to a drinks social gathering, that is what I’m speaking about, you’ve acquired to grip this madhouse.”
Cummings added: “The PM waved it apart. I had instructed him repeatedly the PPS ought to be changed, as had different competent officers who knew the entire construction wanted an enormous improve in personnel and administration. ‘He’s MY man, I don’t need you changing him with YOUR particular person.’ (Sure, this says so much.) I went residence to mattress at 3ish, nonetheless very in poor health from Covid.”
He claimed Reynolds had checked with Johnson whether or not the social gathering ought to go forward, the prime minister agreed it ought to they usually each went to the social gathering.
One other former Downing Road staffer instructed the Guardian: “It’s inconceivable: there is no such thing as a method Martin would go forward with out checking with Boris. There is no such thing as a method any PPS would. If two senior folks come to you and say, ‘this shouldn’t occur’, you don’t then proceed with it with out chatting with the principal.”
Requested about Cummings’s newest claims, a No 10 spokesperson pointed to an earlier assertion, saying: “It’s unfaithful that the prime minister was warned concerning the [20 May] occasion prematurely. As he mentioned … he believed implicitly that this was a piece occasion. He has apologised to the home and is dedicated to creating an extra assertion as soon as the investigation concludes.”
The social gathering on 20 Might has emerged as probably the most contentious occasion for Johnson out of all these investigated by the senior civil servant Sue Grey over allegations that lockdown guidelines have been damaged in Downing Road.
With Tory MPs brazenly questioning Johnson’s future as social gathering chief, there are worries amongst backbenchers a few drip-drip of additional damaging revelations inflicting hurt to the federal government’s popularity.
Downing Stree denied Cumming’s declare on Monday night. A No 10 spokesman mentioned: “It’s unfaithful that the Prime Minister was warned concerning the occasion prematurely. As he mentioned earlier this week he believed implicitly that this was a piece occasion.
“He has apologised to the home and is dedicated to creating an extra assertion as soon as the investigation concludes.”