Boris Johnson threw a surprise birthday party by his wife Carrie during the first Covid lockdown despite the ban on indoor social events, it was claimed tonight.
The latest revelation threatens to detonate his attempts to shore up support from mutinous Tory MPs who are already plotting his downfall.
More than 30 civil servants gathered for the Prime Minister’s birthday party in the Cabinet Room for up to half an hour on the afternoon of June 19, 2020, according to ITV News.
Ms Johnson led staff in a happy birthday chorus as the Prime Minister received a cake, before enjoying picnic food from M&S.
Those who have lost loved ones to Covid, some separated due to lockdown rules, have criticized the Prime Minister’s party – calling it ‘disrespectful’.
Francis Goncalves’ mother, father and brother died within seven days of catching Covid.
With such a painful experience of the pandemic, Francis said he was surprised when he heard rumors of a party in Downing Street in May 2020, before Boris Johnson apologized and confirmed his attendance.
“If you’re going to create a rule, stick to it,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ situation. It’s not just a kick in the teeth, it’s so unprofessional and disrespectful to everyone.
“Will he quit? Will he stay? Who knows what’s going to happen, but he’s completely undermined the whole process of trying to protect people. People are now turning around and asking ‘did you spread a lie? , ‘Is this all just some kind of charade?’, ‘what’s going on?’. The rules were necessary, but there are a lot of very angry people there.
“Everyone wants to see their family members and because of these restrictions, [many] lost the opportunity to see his family members. Rather than actually being there and seeing what your family had been through, you were only able to see them through a phone call or video call.”
Jane Smith, 66, has slammed Boris Johnson after being limited to just 20 minutes of Skype calls with her late mother last year.
Jane’s mother Rita died in May last year at a care home near Bristol, aged 95, at the same time Downing Street officials were accused of staging garden -illegal parties.
She shared a heartbreaking video on social media of one of her limited Skype calls with her deteriorating mother who she described as “barbaric and inhuman”.
Jane from Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, said: “I have no kind words to describe Boris Johnson.
“He sets the rules for everyone but doesn’t follow them himself.
“He said nobody told me the rules, but as prime minister he should know what you can and can’t do better than anyone.
“I’m speechless with anger, especially when people throw parties and I didn’t have free access to my mother, even when she was dying.”
Lisa Catherine: “Apparently Boris had a birthday tea on June 19, 2020 – 7 days later we had our daughter’s birthday tea in the garden with no hugs, no souffle cake and just for two hours. How stupid we were.”
Officials believed to have been present at the party included Martin Reynolds, the top official in the Prime Minister’s Office, who sent the explosive ‘BYOB’ party email.
Interior designer Lulu Lytle, who was not on staff but was renovating the Downing Street flat at the time, was also present.
No 10 did not deny the event took place but claimed the Prime Minister only attended briefly.
A No 10 spokesperson said: “A group of staff working at No 10 that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday.
“He stayed less than ten minutes.
Later that evening, the Prime Minister and his wife reportedly hosted family friends at their upstairs residence in an apparent further breach of the rules.
But Downing Street denied the claims – saying the Prime Minister had instead hosted a small number of his family members outside.
Labor leader Keir Starmer said: This is further proof that we have a Prime Minister who believes the rules he has laid down do not apply to him.
“We cannot afford to continue with this chaotic and rudderless government.
“The prime minister is a national distraction and he has to go.
The week before his birthday party, Mr Johnson urged the rest of the country to stick to the guidelines at a press conference in Downing Street.
On June 13, 2020, the Queen attended a scaled-down ceremony for her official birthday alone, with no family by her side.
And in March 2020, the Prime Minister responded to a letter from 7-year-old Josephine Booth, who canceled her own birthday party, telling her “we all need to do our part”.
Senior civil servant Ms Gray is due to release her report to Downing Street parties later this week.
Dominic Cummings declined to be questioned by the inquest, saying the PM would ‘lie and confuse everyone’ if he did, and agreed to submit written evidence instead.
He claimed No 10 staff were afraid to hand over evidence to the inquest for fear the Prime Minister would ‘see it all’ – so would release details after it was concluded.
The former chief adviser to the Prime Minister, now a fierce critic, has warned that more damaging stories will emerge unless Tory MPs force Mr Johnson out of office.
Writing on his blog, he added: I know others are very worried about handing things over to the Cabinet Office because they know the Prime Minister will see everything SG collects.
“This inevitably means that evidence, including photos, is not provided to him and will continue to leak after his report.”
It follows that Downing Street Police have provided ‘extremely damning’ evidence to the inquest, raising further questions about why Scotland Yard has so far failed to investigate.
Metropolitan Police Chief Dame Cressida Dick will face pressure at a London Assembly hearing on Tuesday over her decision.
However, Met Police officers guarding the gates of Downing Street were reportedly “only too willing” to co-operate with the investigation.
Sources said they were able to provide “a lot of information” about the deconfinement events at No 10.
One told the Daily Telegraph: ‘In other words, if Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister by the end of the week I would be very surprised.
The Mirror has been told that No 10’s internal security staff – known as wardens – have repeatedly warned staff that their lockdown party was spiraling out of control.
It comes after the Prime Minister’s spokesman pointedly refused to say that the whole of Ms Gray’s report will be published – saying it will be up to Mr Johnson how much will be published.
Two ministers said that only the findings of the report will be published.
Ms Gray’s inquiry has reportedly been widened to cover claims by parties at the Downing Street flat which the Prime Minister shares with his wife Carrie.
The Mirror first revealed the allegations – denied by No 10 – when we blew up the whole ‘Partygate’ scandal last November.
Sources tell us there are always parties going on at the flat Mr Johnson shares with his wife, adding: Carries is addicted to it.
Mr Johnson signaled his defiance and assembled the team that helped him win over the Tory leadership – dubbed ‘the Avengers’ – to win back support from rebel MPs.
But many Tory MPs are waiting to send a no-confidence letter to the Prime Minister until the results are out.
No 10 asked House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle if he could make a statement ‘almost immediately’ after the report was released so he could take ownership of the narrative.
Mr Johnson is also facing a row over the government whips’ handling of the row, with Tory MP William Wragg discussing allegations of ‘blackmail’ with Scotland Yard.
Jo Goodman, co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “Like thousands of others, I remember June 19 vividly. It was the day before what would have been my father’s 73rd birthday, shortly after he died of Covid. -19. It was a horrible time for my family, but we played by the rules, not even being able to hug each other for comfort.
“It’s absolutely sickening that the Prime Minister has spent [it] sharing a cake with 30 friends inside and although they are not even surprised anymore, it still brings new pain. While dozens of people sang happy birthday to her, families couldn’t even sing in memory at the funerals of their loved ones.
“Regardless of any report, the Prime Minister must clearly resign. He has lost all credibility.”
A spokesperson for 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 with the prime minister.
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