BORIS Johnson has been engulfed in a new partying storm after admitting to celebrating his birthday indoors at the height of his first lockdown.
The Prime Minister turns 56 on June 19, 2020, with No10 confirming staff members gathered to wish him well in the Cabinet Room when indoor socialization was prohibited.
It is thought his then-fiancée Carrie surprised the Prime Minister with a cake and led a Happy Birthday choir with at least 30 staff members.
A Downing Street person said tonight: “Here’s a couple of people at the office saying happy birthday, it’s not a party.”
ITV News reports tonight that wise men include interior designer Lulu Lytle, who at the time was in charge of a controversial six-figure renovation of the Prime Minister’s flat.
But No10 insisted that the Prime Minister was there in “less than ten minutes” after staff had “briefly gathered” after the meeting.
And Culture Minister defends Boris, Nadine Dorries insists: “So when everyone in the office buys a cake in the middle of the afternoon for someone else they’re working in the office and stops for ten minutes to take sing happy birthday and then go back to their desks, is this now called a party?”
It is understood the gathering has been investigated by party investigator Sue Gray and will not delay her reporting. expected to land within the next few days.
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No10 also denied that members of the Johnson family had arrived at the Downing Street apartment the same evening, saying they had met in the garden in accordance with the rules.
ITV News reported that “family friends” held a party that evening at the Prime Minister’s official residence.
But No. 10 says that is “totally untrue.”
A spokesman added: “It was in line with the rules at the time that the Prime Minister hosted a small number of family members outside that evening.”
The latest twist in the partygate saga comes just hours after former No 10 assistant Dominic Cummings warned new revelations were imminent and “officials” in Whitehall were actively engaged in a negative plot to overthrow the Prime Minister this week.
In a threatening tweet, he warned Tory MPs they must abandon the Prime Minister “if they want the nightmare to end.”
The latest twist in the story comes as No10 braced for Gray’s report – with some of the Prime Minister’s closest ministerial allies privately admitting “the game could begin” for BoJo.
One said: “Now there’s a drum beat to it and that’s very disturbing.”
“Everybody who’s ever been upset with him can smell the blood and they won’t stop.”
“The bad news is growing and there is no clear sign of a plan to turn the tide.”
It separates the developments:
- Tory MP William Wragg met with the Metropolitan Police to discuss claims of extortion and threats of whipping against Tory MPs
- Sue Gray’s investigation into the investigation is being finalized with more than six full-time officials working on the investigation.
- PM gives in to pressure to launch a separate investigation into claims of fear of Islam from former Minister Nustrat Ghani
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson’s arch nemesis Cummings has declined to be interviewed by the partygate investigation – despite issuing claims of a lockdown in Downing Street.
The former No10 aide only agreed to give evidence in writing – saying the Prime Minister would twist his words if he were to face chief justice Sue Grey.
But last night, senior Tories accused him of fear because his fiduciary statements came under scrutiny.
Cummings has said the Prime Minister has been warned that a party in May 2020 broke Covid rules, but Boris insists he thinks it is a work event.
In a blog post, he claimed the Prime Minister “would make up nonsense and spread it to the media” if he presented his evidence directly to Gray, who he claimed “co-opted”. mean” for “only one record”.
But former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “Clearly Cummings was not prepared to cross-examine but to drip, drip his poison unquestionably from the sidelines.
“It is not the behavior of someone trying to help with the investigation but rather someone with a personal ax to sharpen, but their claims have proven dubious in the past. ”
Labor has repeated their call for the Prime Minister to step down in the party row.
Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of becoming a “national distraction”.
He added: “We have a Prime Minister and a government who have spent all their time getting rid of sleaze and deceit.
“Meanwhile millions of people are struggling to pay their bills. We cannot continue with this chaotic, rudderless government.”
No10 said: “A group of staff working at No 10 that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after the meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday. He was there for less than ten minutes.”
“In line with the rules at the time the Prime Minister hosted a small number of family members that evening.”
A Lulu Lytle spokesman said: “Lulu was at Downing Street on 19 June for a refurbishment.
“Lulu was not invited to any birthday celebrations for the prime minister as a guest. Lulu entered the cabinet room quickly as requested, while waiting to speak with the prime minister.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8257470/boris-johnson-indoor-birthday-bash-first-lockdown/ Boris Johnson throws birthday party indoors at peak of first lockdown in storm by new gates