5 bombastic Partygate claims in the Panorama report as parties ‘shake their heads’ at security
A Downing Street official said they felt they had Boris Johnson’s permission as he did not tell them to interrupt the scenes when they returned to his flat.
No 10 staff have told of their shock as they watched Boris Johnson stand by the Commons mail box and deny lockdown breaking parties had taken place across Downing Street.
The Prime Minister is under renewed scrutiny for his Partygate denials after bombshell photos dropped by ITV capture him raising a glass of fizz alongside Downing Street staff.
Scotland Yard is also facing calls to explain why the PM was not fined over Lee Cain’s departure. Photos showed him next to a table with bottles of food and wine.
Three Downing Street staffers who attended lockdown busting parties have spoken to the BBC Panorama and revealed shocking details of what went on as the rest of the public followed the Prime Minister’s Covid rules.
Her claims follow Der Spiegel reports in January. Sources told this paper the prime minister had encouraged aid workers to “let off steam” despite indoor socializing being banned on “weeping time Fridays” under lockdown rules.
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1 No 10 was a mess the morning after the parties
A former civil servant recalled arriving at work the morning after a party and finding it “a mess”.
The anonymous insider said: “There were bottles, empties, rubbish – in the bin, but overfilled – or sometimes left on the table”.
Sources previously told the Mirror that “wine time Fridays” are scheduled between 4 and 7 p.m. each week on the electronic calendars of around 50 No. 10 employees.
Every week between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., “Winetime Fridays” were scheduled in the electronic calendars of around 50 No 10 employees.
They’re a long-standing tradition at Downing Street, used to help staff relax at the end of a busy week, but the event continued well after lockdown restrictions were enforced.
2 Some of the No. 10 employees were “sitting on each other’s laps” as Lee Cain left the office
Sources who previously told the Mirror lockdown-breaking gatherings sometimes lasted until midnight, with up to two dozen helpers drinking wine and beer and playing games such as Pictionary.
A No. 10 insider spoke specifically about the prime minister’s departure for his outgoing communications chief, Lee Cain, saying there were about “30 people, if not more, in a room.”
The insider added, “Everyone stood shoulder to shoulder, some people on each other’s laps … one or two people.”
3 staff ‘drank all night and stayed the night’ on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral
Government guidance at the time warned: “You must not meet indoors except with your household or support bubble.
“They can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six or two households.
But hours before the Queen sat alone to mourn the loss of her husband, No. 10 staff “sat around the tables and drank.”
A source told the BBC: “People spent the night there” before noting they now accept what happened, “unforgivable”.
4 Downing Street Guard has been ‘mocked’ for trying to stop parties
A Downing Street security guard has been mocked as he tries to stop a full-blown party.
A source told the broadcaster, “I remember when a janitor tried to stop it all and he just shook his head at that party and was like, ‘This shouldn’t be happening.'”
The insider claimed the janitor was quite excited while “shaking his head” as he tried to stop it all.
Another described working Downing Street as living in “our own bubble” where the rules didn’t really apply.
5 Boris Johnson ‘Grabbed A Glass For Himself’
Sources told the Mirror back in January the prime minister had encouraged aid workers to “let off steam” despite indoor socializing being banned on “weeping Fridays” under lockdown rules.
A source told The Mirror: “Boris used to stop by to chat while they were having a drink. It was on the way to his apartment and the door was normally open. He knew about it and encouraged it.”
Another added: “He could see everyone sitting there drinking as he walked up to him. He came in and said, ‘Hi, has everyone had a rough week? Let off some steam? Oh cool’.”
Speaking to the BBC, an insider backed these claims by Mr Johnson, who was promoting the culture.
“He [Mr Johnson] I didn’t say, ‘Can everyone break up and go home? Can everyone social distance? Can everyone put on masks?’
“No, he didn’t tell anyone. He got a glass for himself.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/5-bombshell-partygate-claims-panorama-27053519 5 bombastic Partygate claims in the Panorama report as parties 'shake their heads' at security