British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his then fiancé Carrie Symonds attended a drinks party in the garden of No. 10 Downing Street during the UK’s first national coronavirus lockdown in 2020, according to a leaked email.
The email, obtained Monday by ITV News, is the first piece of evidence of the occurrence of a staff party at the prime minister’s official residence in May 2020 while the rest of the country endured a stifling lockdown.
The email was sent by Martin Reynolds, Johnson’s principal private secretary, to hundreds of Downing Street staff that included the prime minister’s advisers, speech writers and even door staff.
“Hi all. After what has been an incredibly busy period, we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!” Reynolds said.
According to ITV News, which received the leak from an unnamed source from within Downing Street, around 40 attendees gathered in the garden of Johnson’s official residence, where they ate food and drank alcohol.
The leaked email confirms previous claims of lockdown parties hosted at Downing Street during the height of the lockdown, when the rest of the UK were banned from meeting families and friends.
Last month, a leaked image shared with the Observer magazine showed Johnson, his wife and two aides sitting at a garden table drinking alcohol and eating food. The image was published after earlier claims of another party in which 20 staff attended.
The recent revelations will add pressure to an increasingly embattled prime minister who faces growing discontent from those within his party and among voters in newly acquired constituencies.
There are fears within Tory ranks of a heavy defeat in upcoming local elections after the damning revelations on lockdown breaches, corruption scandals, and polls confirming a loss in confidence in Johnson as prime minister.
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