Boris Johnson hits out at anti-vaxxers spouting 'mumbo jumbo'
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Downing Street did not immediately deny the report made in the Sunday Times, alleging the Prime Minister broke lockdown rules during the first lockdown in May 2020. Three sources told the publication Mr Johnson’s private secretary, Martin Reynolds, invited officials to the drinks party in an email adding for invitees to BYOB (bring your own bottle/booze).
The emails are being considered key evidence in Whitehall enforcer Sue Gray’s inquiry into rule-breaking within Downing Street during the pandemic.
The May garden party was allegedly attended by 40 people while Covid restrictions were still in place.
Restrictions allowing people to mix outside in groups of up to six were only introduced on June 1, 2020 and it was not until July 4 that two households were permitted to mix indoors or outdoors.
One of the alleged witnesses told the Sunday Times the garden party was “a proper booze-up”.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner lambasted Mr Johnson for “taking the country for fools” and urged Ms Gray’s report to be released as soon as possible.
She told The Telegraph: “The culture of total disregard for the rules seems to have been embedded into life in Downing Street from the very start of the pandemic.
“When much of the country was struggling with empty shelves and a total lockdown with no meeting with others allowed, it seems No 10 were hosting parties from the very start.
“Boris Johnson and his team are taking the country for fools.
“We need the report from Sue Gray’s independent investigation as soon as possible and Boris Johnson needs to face the consequences of his actions.”
According to the Sunday Times, Dominic Cummings, former chief adviser to the Prime Minister, replied to Mr Reynolds invitation saying the move was ill advised.
In a blog post on Friday, Mr Cummings addressed a leaked photo of the Prime Minister and staff, including himself, sitting around cheese and wine on May 15, 2020.
However, Mr Cummings insisted there was nothing “illegal or unethical” about that day.
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He continued: “On Wednesday 20 May, the week after this photo, a senior No 10 official invited people to ‘socially distanced drinks’ in the garden.”
Mr Cummings added he and at least one other special adviser issued a warning “in writing” stating that “this seemed to be against the rules and should not happen”.
He said: “We were ignored. I was ill and went home to bed early that afternoon but am told this event definitely happened.”
Express.co.uk has contacted No10 to comment on the latest claim.
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