No 10 denied that Boris Johnson told aides opposing the garden party with your own booze he attended that they were overreacting to the staging of the event.
The allegation made by his close friend Dominic Lawson, a newspaper columnist, would contradict the Prime Minister’s claim that he did not realize the rally was a party.
On Sunday, Downing Street said it was untrue that the Prime Minister had been given advance notice of the event and that he implicitly believed it was a business event.
Now his spokesperson has expanded that denial to insist he never defended the event or told bystanders they were overreacting.
Asked whether Mr Lawsons’ particular claim that Mr Johnson had called Martin Reynolds, his private secretary my trusty Labrador was accurate, the spokesman replied: No.
These warning claims are not true, as we made clear over the weekend, he added.
The denial comes as Tory MPs ponder mounting evidence that voters want Mr Johnson to quit before civil servant Sue Gray even completes her investigation into the wave of anti-lockdown parties.
Number 10 declined to say whether the Prime Minister had been interviewed by her, but said the full report would be released when it was ready, either later this week or next week.
Mr Johnson is no longer required to reduce contact, after his wife Carrie or one of his children tested positive for Covid, as their period of isolation is over.
However, it is unclear whether he will be seen in public for the first time in nearly a week, before First Ministers’ Questions in the Commons on Wednesday.
When asked if Mr Johnson considered himself a big dog, as he fought to save his job as a The Independent was told the spokesman replied: Certainly not that I know of.
In his Sunday time column, Mr Lawson claimed Mr Johnson had been warned, at the time, that going ahead with the party, trestle tables and all, was in clear breach of current regulations .
I spoke to a former Downing Street official who said at least two people told the Prime Minister, after seeing the email invitation from his Principal Private Secretary, Martin Reynolds, that it was a party and that it should be canceled immediately.
I was told Johnson’s dismissive response was to say they were overreacting and praising Reynolds as my trusty Labrador.
Downing Street also defended Mr Johnson commuting between Checkers and No 10 in March 2020, when Carrie was pregnant, when councils said people should not travel for non-essential reasons.
Ms Johnson was heavily pregnant and had been placed in a vulnerable category and advised to minimize social contact, the spokesperson said.
So, in line with clinical guidelines and to minimize risk to her, they were based at Checkers during this time, with the Prime Minister traveling to Downing Street for work.
Advice about not visiting second homes only came on March 22, by which time the Prime Minister and his wife were already based in Chequers.
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