Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of personally attending a "proper booze-up" in the No 10 garden during the first lockdown, allegedly breaking Covid restrictions he had implemented.
He is said to have attended the BYOB (bring your own booze) bash – complete with drinks and snacks – with wife Carrie in May 2020 despite restrictions in England banning outdoor gatherings at the time.
Three sources reportedly told the Sunday Times that the PM's principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, invited officials by email urging them to "BYOB".
A witness said: “There were 40 people in the garden, including Boris and Carrie. There were long tables laden with drink, crisps, sausage rolls and other picnic food. It was a proper booze-up.”
The latest allegations of a potentially rule-breaking gathering came from Mr Johnson's aide Dominic Cummings, who has become a bitter enemy of his former boss since being booted out of No 10.
Mr Cummings claimed he and another special advisor protested that the event "seemed to be against the rules and should not happen".
In a post on his Substack newsletter, he wrote: "We were ignored. I was ill and went home to bed early that afternoon but am told this event definitely happened."
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Mr Johnson imposed England's first lockdown to combat Covid-19 in March 2020 and it was not until June 1 that groups of up to six people were permitted to meet outdoors.
But Cummings wrote in a blog post: "On Wednesday 20 May… a senior No 10 official invited people to 'socially distanced drinks' in the garden."
Mr Cummings said he and at least one other special adviser "said that this seemed to be against the rules and should not happen", adding that he issued the warning "in writing so Sue Gray can dig up the original email".
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He added: "We were ignored. I was ill and went home to bed early that afternoon but am told this event definitely happened."
Senior civil servant Sue Gray is investigating the gathering, which allegedly happened on May 20, 2020, as part of her probe into a string of allegations of rule-breaking events in Westminster during the pandemic.
The Whitehall enforcer is already understood to be looking into four events – three in Downing Street and one at the Department for Education.
A No 10 spokesperson refused to comment on the allegations while Ms Gray's investigation is ongoing.
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