Boris Johnson threw a birthday party during the first lockdown in 2020, according to a report from ITV News.
About 30 people are said to have attended a surprise party, allegedly hosted by Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie, on June 19, when social distancing rules banned indoor social gatherings.
The event, at which Ms Johnson and Lulu Lytle are said to have presented the Prime Minister with a cake, is said to have taken place in the Cabinet Room at No 10, after the Prime Minister returned from an official visit to a school in Hertfordshire.
It is understood that attendees ate picnic food from M&S during the rally, which lasted around 20-30 minutes.
Downing Street said staff only ‘met briefly’ in the Cabinet Room after a meeting.
A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “A group of staff working at Number 10 that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday. They remained there less than ten minutes.
ITV also reports that friends of the family were accommodated upstairs at the Prime Ministers Residence later that evening, which Downing Street denies.
The spokeswoman added: ‘This is totally untrue. In accordance with the rules at the time, the Prime Minister hosted a small number of his family outside that evening.’
Sir Keir Starmer said the latest revelations were ‘further proof that we have a prime minister who thinks the rules he has laid down don’t apply to him’.
“The Prime Minister is a national distraction and he must go,” added the Labor leader.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford also walked out after the news broke.
He said: “Boris Johnson’s conduct has been a disgrace. It’s clear the Prime Minister has repeatedly broken the rules and lied about it.
“He is unfit to perform his duties and he must leave.
“Tory MPs must impeach him without further delay. The longer they wait, the more they damage the public’s remaining trust in the UK government and the broken Westminster system.
Boris Johnson’s conduct is a disgrace.
It is clear that the Prime Minister has repeatedly broken the rules and lied about it. He is unfit to perform his duties and must leave.
Ian Blackford (@Ianblackford_MP) January 24, 2022
“It is now a matter of their own integrity. There simply cannot be one rule for the most powerful people in the Conservative government and another for the rest of us. This has to stop.”
It came as senior civil servant Sue Gray worked on her investigation into a series of claims of parties breaking the rules in No 10.
As the Prime Minister faces calls for the resignation of some of his own Tory MPs, the new allegations will present an additional challenge to his bid to hold on to power.
Ms Gray’s investigation, which could prove crucial to the Prime Minister’s political survival, is due to be published this week.
It was not immediately clear if the latest allegations would further delay its publication, or if the official had already known about it.
Martin Reynolds, the principal private secretary under Mr Johnson’s fire, was also said to have participated.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, a staunch ally of Mr Johnson, questioned whether the gathering may have breached rules at the time.
“So when people in an office buy a cake in the middle of the afternoon for someone else they work with in the office and stop for ten minutes to sing happy birthday and then go back to their office, is that called a party now?” she tweeted.
So when people in an office buy a cake in the middle of the afternoon for someone else they work with in the office and stop for ten minutes to sing happy birthday and then go back to their office, that is now called a party?
Nadine Dorries (@NadineDorries) January 24, 2022
Indoor social gatherings were banned under lockdown laws at the time, with a relaxation of regulations allowing gatherings of up to six people to take place outdoors.
ITV News said M&S picnic food was eaten during the afternoon rally lasting up to 30 minutes, while Ms Johnson and Ms Lytle presented a cake to the Prime Minister.
At the time, Ms Lytle was renovating Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat.
A spokeswoman for Soane Britain, the luxury designer co-founded by Ms Lytle, said: “Lulu was present in Downing Street on June 19 to work on the refurbishment.
“Lulu was not invited to any Prime Minister’s birthday party as a guest.
“Lulu entered the Cabinet Room briefly as requested, waiting to speak to the Prime Minister.”
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