You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Boris Johnson allowed packed parties with staff 'on laps' and 'staying night' - new claims

Mirror logo Mirror 24/05/2022 Aletha Adu

Boris Johnson has been accused of enabling the Partygate culture in Downing Street as he "grabbed a glass for himself" instead of breaking up events, No10 insiders have claimed.

Three Downing Street staff who attended lockdown-busting parties have revealed horrifying details of what went on as the rest of the public followed the Prime Minister's Covid rules to BBC Panorama.

Sources told the Mirror back in January the Prime Minister encouraged aides to “let off steam” despite indoor socialising being banned under lockdown rules on 'wine-time Fridays'.

One source told The Mirror: “Boris used to stop by for a chat while they had a drink. It was on the way up to his flat and the door was usually open. He knew about it and encouraged it.“

Another added: “He could see everyone sitting there drinking as he walked up. He would come in and say, ‘Hello everyone had a hard week? Letting off some steam? Oh great’.

Boris Johnson escaped the Met Police Partygate investigation with only one fine © UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Imag Boris Johnson escaped the Met Police Partygate investigation with only one fine

“The idea that he didn’t know there were drinks is total nonsense. If the PM tells you to ‘let off steam’, he’s basically saying this is fine.”


Video: 'PM's apologies mean nothing' (Sky News)

Insiders told the BBC how staff were "sitting on each others laps" and "staying the night" on events that were "nailed into the diary" at least every week.

One No10 insider recalled the moment a Downing Street security guard was mocked after trying to break up a raucous party.

"People made fun of him because he was so worked up that this party was happening and it shouldn't be happening".

Their evidence will heap further pressure on the Prime Minister ahead of the publication of the Sue Gray inquiry into “partygate”, which No 10 expects on Wednesday.

Days after ordering England’s second national lockdown, the pictures showed the Prime Minister giving a toast for departing communications chief Lee Cain on November 13 2020.

Sue Gray is expected to publish her inquiry into Partygate on Wednesday © PRU/AFP via Getty Images Sue Gray is expected to publish her inquiry into Partygate on Wednesday

One witness described the party that night: “There were about 30 people, if not more, in a room. Everyone was stood shoulder to shoulder, some people on each other’s laps … one or two people.”

“Unforgivable” scenes were described at the party on April 16 last year, which was the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

They described a “lively event… a general party with people dancing around” that became so loud that security guards told them to go into the No 10 grounds.

“So everyone grabbed all the drinks, the food, everything, and went into the garden,” one source said.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon