Politics

Boris Johnson’s lockdown-breaking birthday party pics revealed as damning Sue Gray report lifts lid on Partygate


STARK new pics of rule-breaking in Downing Street are laid bare today as Sue Gray publishes her damning Partygate probe.

The true extent of raucous bashes in No10 and Whitehall have finally been revealed in the 37-page bombshell doc.

Boris Johnson holds a can of beer on his birthday in the Cabinet Office

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Boris Johnson holds a can of beer on his birthday in the Cabinet Office
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak in the Cabinet Office room. Both were fined for the bash

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Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak in the Cabinet Office room. Both were fined for the bash
The embattled PM raised a hand to the press as he left Downing Street this morning

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The embattled PM raised a hand to the press as he left Downing Street this morningCredit: Reuters

New pictures show the PM toasting colleagues with a can of Estrella beer on his birthday as Rishi Sunak stands beside him.

Sandwiches from Tesco can be seen on the desk alongside a whiskey tumbler filled with amber liquid, likely to be juice from a jug.

Top senior civil servant Simon Case can be seen laughing in the images.

In total, the report contains nine photos of boozy bashes – and Ms Gray has ruled “many of these event should not have happened.”

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She also discovered Downing Street chiefs boasted “we got away with it” after 200 government staffers were invited to a ‘bring your own booze’ party by the PM’s right-hand man on May 20 2020.

Martin Reynolds ignored concerns of other worried aides to plough ahead with the bash.

Another aide said partygoers should hide their booze from journalists, who were around Downing St for that day’s Covid press conference – warning they shouldn’t be spotted “waving bottles of wine”.

But after the illegal bash Reynolds told another aide at the drinks: “We seem to have got away with it.”

The embattled Prime Minister will now apologise to MPs at PMQs before addressing the nation.

He will say: “I commissioned this report to set the record straight and allow us all to move on.

“I accept full responsibility for my failings.

“I am humbled by the whole experience and have learned our lesson.”

He’ll then apologise to the nation during a grovelling press conference.

Cabinet enforcer Gray took aim at the PM and top officials in the report.

She blasted “failures of leadership and judgment” in No 10 and the Cabinet Office.

“The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture,” she said.

The report reveals:

  • Many gatherings were not in line with Covid guidance at the time. Police found that 83 people who attended the events breached Covid regulations
  • There were failures of leadership and judgment in No 10 and the Cabinet Office. Leaders in Government attended events that should not have been allowed to happen, and senior leadership must bear responsibility
  • Some staff had witnessed behaviour they were concerned about, but felt unable to speak up. There are multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff
  • Every Government department needs a clear and robust policy on consuming alcohol in the workplace
  • Brits will be dismayed – the public have a right to expect the very highest standards of behaviour in such places and clearly what happened fell well short of this

It has emerged that some Downing Street staff were worried about the lockdown rule-breaking they witnessed at work – but felt unable to raise the alarm, the Gray report found.

Other No10 insiders showed a “lack of respect” towards cleaners and security staff, she added.

The report states: “I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly.

“I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable.”

She added: “I hope that this will truly embed a culture that welcomes and creates opportunities for challenge and speaking up at all levels.”

Gray said the blame for the lockdown breaking lay squarely with the those at the top of government,

She said: “I do offer a reflection: while there is no excuse for some of the behaviour set out here it is important to acknowledge that those in the most junior positions attended gatherings at which their seniors were present, or indeed organised.”

‘I AM HUMBLED’

Brits will be sickened and appalled at the illegal lockdown breaking, the report found.

It states: “Many will be dismayed that behaviour of this kind took place on this scale at the heart of Government.

“The public have a right to expect the very highest standards of behaviour in such places and clearly what happened fell well short of this.”

Mr Johnson, wife Carrie and Mr Sunak were fined for one of the breaches, but are not expected to face further penalty.

Mr Case, the UK’s most senior civil servant, was not fined.

The PM will now face a punishing day of awkward questions over the report.

His weekly audience with the Queen is also pencilled in for tonight as BoJo faces the music.

The embattled PM will also try to soothe baying Tory critics with a closed-door meeting of Conservative MPs later.

Many will be dismayed that behaviour of this kind took place on this scale at the heart of Government

Ms Gray’s report finally arrived two days bombshell pics showing Boris raising a toast while surrounded by bottles of booze were leaked.

The photos show the PM lifting a glass while surrounded by staff at a leaving do for his comms chief Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.

At the time meetings between people from separate households were prohibited – unless they were in an “exclusive support bubble”.

Cops did NOT fine Mr Johnson over the event and only stung him for a single birthday bash in the Cabinet Room.

In total, the Met has dished out more than 126 fines to 83 people.

But more problems then arose when tensions between Ms Gray and No10 exploded into an open briefing war.

The battle included toxic claims the PM suggested the report never see the light of day after the cops concluded their own investigation.

The accusation in The Times surfaced after a number of hostile attacks online and in newspapers against Ms Gray and the political neutrality of her team and Labour links of her family.

Downing Street formally denied putting pressure on Gray to bin her report, saying: “The Prime Minister wants the report to be published.

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“He’s looking forward to the conclusion of the report and it being put in the public domain.”

Mr Johnson’s official spokesman added: “The PM did not ask for that report to be not proceeded with or to be dropped.”

Mr Johnson appeared tense when he was snapped recently. He is also under huge pressure to solve the escalating cost of living crisis

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Mr Johnson appeared tense when he was snapped recently. He is also under huge pressure to solve the escalating cost of living crisisCredit: Darren Fletcher





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