TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

Boris Johnson: Renewed calls for PM to resign after reports Number 10 staff partied on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

Boris Johnson: Renewed calls for PM to resign after reports Number 10 staff partied on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

In fresh claims in the "partygate" crisis, it is alleged that around 30 Downing Street staff drank alcohol into the early hours at two events on 16 April. One attendee is reported to have been sent shopping with a suitcase to fill with bottles of wine.

Downing Street has failed to deny reports that two parties took place at Number 10 the night before Prince Philip's COVID-restricted funeral - at a time when indoor mixing was banned.

In fresh claims that will further fuel the "partygate" crisis threatening the prime minister's political future, it is alleged that Downing Street staff drank alcohol into the early hours at two leaving events in April last year.

These are reported to have been held the night before the Queen was forced to sit by herself at her husband's funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

A leaving event was held for James Slack, the PM's departing director of communications


Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey repeated his call for Boris Johnson to resign in the wake of the latest allegations.

"The Queen sitting alone, mourning the loss of her husband, was the defining image of lockdown," he posted on Twitter.

"Not because she is the Queen, but because she was just another person, mourning alone like too many others. Whilst she mourned, Number 10 partied. Johnson must go."

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said she had "no words for the culture and behaviours at Number 10", adding: "The buck stops with the PM."

At the time of the newly-alleged parties, the country was in a period of national mourning, and England was still under strict COVID rules that banned socialising with other households indoors unless you had formed a support bubble.

People in England were also prevented from meeting outdoors in groups larger than six, or from more than two households.

Those coronavirus restrictions also limited Prince Philip's funeral to just 30 attendees, as with other services, while only 15 were allowed to gather for wakes.


The Daily Telegraph reported that one Number 10 leaving event on 16 April last year was held for James Slack, the prime minister's departing director of communications, while another was for one of Mr Johnson's personal photographers.

According to the newspaper, the gatherings lasted beyond midnight and saw alcohol drunk with guests dancing along to music.

The events were held in two different parts of the Downing Street complex but later joined together in the garden with around 30 people attending both gatherings combined, it is claimed.

The newspaper's account of the parties also claimed that one attendee was sent to a nearby supermarket store with a suitcase to be filled with bottles of wine and brought back to Downing Street.

Another staff member was said to have acted as a DJ at one of the events, while another who was present is reported to have expressed fears that too much wine was being spilled on a carpet.

One eyewitness also told the Daily Telegraph that a staff member used and broke a child's swing in the garden belonging to Mr Johnson's son, Wilfred.

Downing Street did not directly deny the reports, although it is reported that the prime minister was not in Number 10 that day and was instead at Chequers, his official country retreat.

Boris Johnson observed a minute's silence for Prince Philip while at Chequers on 17 April


Commenting on the leaving event for Mr Slack, a Number 10 spokesperson said: "On this individual's last day he gave a farewell speech to thank each team for the work they had done to support him, both those who had to be in the office for work and on a screen for those working from home."

The fresh claims are the first time that parties are alleged to have been held in Downing Street in 2021.

The prime minister is already battling accusations that Christmas parties were held in Number 10 in December 2020.

And, earlier this week, Mr Johnson admitted to attending a "bring your own booze" event in Downing Street during the first national lockdown in May 2020.

A fifth Conservative MP demanded the prime minister's resignation on Thursday night over the "partygate" scandal.

Andrew Bridgen, the North West Leicestershire MP and a committed Brexiteer who supported Mr Johnson for the Conservative leadership in 2019, said there was "currently a moral vacuum at the heart of our government".

He confirmed he had written a letter of no confidence in the prime minister to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs.

If a total of 54 Conservative MPs submit letters, Mr Johnson will be forced to face a confidence vote over his leadership.

Multiple allegations of COVID rule-breaking in both Downing Street and other government buildings are currently subject to an investigation by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant.

However, she is not expected to report on her findings until next week at the earliest.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'
×