Boris Johnson has is alleged to have been at yet another festive gathering in the run up to Christmas 2020.
The Prime Minister is facing widespread calls to resign amid a snowballing scandal around lockdown-busting parties in Downing Street.
Now the PM has been accused of another potential breach, when he gave a speech as Number 10 staff gathered for a leaving do.
It is the latest of a series of boozy gatherings – some of which Mr Johnson attended – to have emerged in reports, sparking more than a month of crisis at the heart of Government.
And the allegation is the second major blow to Mr Johnson on Sunday, after he was also accused of lying when he said he thought one of the events, in May 2020, was a ‘work event’.
The Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson claimed that two people told the PM that it should be cancelled because it was a party.
The latest revelation, published by the Daily Mirror, suggests Mr Johnson attended a farewell gathering for defence adviser Captain Steve Higham.
The paper reported that the PM was ‘there for a few minutes to thank him for his service’, as a ‘small number of No10 staff briefly said goodbye’.
Number 10 did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Metro.co.uk on Sunday night.
As the saga rumbles on, Mr Lawson’s allegations could also prove damaging to the PM.
He wrote: ‘Last week I spoke to a former Downing Street official who said at least two people had told the PM, after seeing the emailed invitation from his principal private secretary,
‘Martin Reynolds, that this was “a party” and should be immediately cancelled. I was told that Johnson’s dismissive response was to say they were “overreacting” and to praise Reynolds as “my loyal Labrador”.’
It comes after Mr Johnson was forced to apologise to the Commons on Wednesday, when he admitted attending the May 20 garden party for 25 minutes – but claimed he thought it was a ‘work event’.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the column ‘blows the Prime Minister’s final defence out of the water’ – but Downing Street denied its veracity.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: ‘It is untrue that the Prime Minister was warned about the event in advance.’
Six Tory MPs have now called for Mr Johnson to quit over the partygate scandal, which is the subject of an investigation by civil servant Sue Gray.
The Sunday Times also reported that 35 Conservatives have submitted letters of no confidence – less than 20 short of the 54 required for a vote on his future.
According to the paper, the Prime Minister is devising a policy announcement blitz and a raft of sackings in his inner circle in an effort to save his faltering premiership.
Earlier, Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden claimed the issue was not a resigning matter.
Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, he said: ‘I can assure you the Prime Minister is both very contrite and deeply apologetic for what happened.
‘But, more importantly, he is determined to make sure that this can’t be allowed to happen and that we address the underlying culture in Downing Street.
‘There were failings: we should have done better, much, much better.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source: Read Full Article