August 11, 2022

Boris Johnson lied about lockdown social gathering, Dominic Cummings claims | Boris Johnson

Dominic Cummings has accused Boris Johnson of lying right after No 10 denied the key minister was warned against allowing a “bring your have booze” bash during the initially lockdown.

Johnson admitted to parliament last 7 days that he attended beverages in the Downing Avenue backyard on 20 May possibly 2020 but claimed he experienced not realised it was a social gathering.

The party was organised by Johnson’s principal non-public secretary (PPS), Martin Reynolds, who informed people to “bring your have booze” – but No 10 denies that the primary minister saw the emailed invitation to about 100 staff.

It has also denied allegations that two senior staffers warned Johnson not to go forward with the beverages celebration, expressing this was “not true”.

But Cummings, a former senior aide to the primary minister, wrote a new blog site write-up on Monday demanding that account. He reported he individually told Reynolds that the invitation broke the principles and claimed Reynolds replied: “So long as it is socially distanced I feel it is Alright, I’ll check out with the PM if he’s happy for it to go ahead.”

Cummings reported in his blogpost: “Not only me but other eyewitnesses who talked over this at the time would swear below oath this is what transpired.”

Sue Grey, the senior civil servant in demand of the inquiry into Downing Road get-togethers, could make a formal ask for to interview Cummings, Whitehall sources confirmed. It is in just the remit of the inquiry to tactic previous members of personnel if their evidence may be applicable.

No 10 staff experienced hoped that the inquiry, which is inspecting more than 15 individual allegations of unlawful gatherings in Downing Street, would conclude this 7 days. Because of the continuous drip of new functions and developments, officials feel it might now report subsequent 7 days.

The inquiry is envisioned to define when just about every alleged bash transpired, how many persons were current and who was included in organising them. It will also outline the laws at that time, and could advise whether or not each individual party seems to have broken the polices at that time.

The Grey report is not anticipated to suggest a criminal investigation.

Cummings then mentioned that throughout a dialogue about the foreseeable future of the cupboard secretary and Reynolds, he experienced explained to the primary minister some thing like: “Martin’s invited the constructing to a beverages party, this is what I’m speaking about, you’ve obtained to grip this madhouse.”

Cummings extra: “The PM waved it apart. I had informed him consistently the PPS ought to be changed, as had other competent officers who realized the entire structure required a large improve in staff and administration. ‘He’s MY guy, I never want you replacing him with YOUR individual.’ (Certainly, this states a great deal.) I went household to mattress at 3ish, still pretty ill from Covid.”

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He claimed Reynolds had checked with Johnson no matter whether the social gathering should really go in advance, the key minister agreed it must and they both went to the party.

Another former Downing Street staffer instructed the Guardian: “It is inconceivable: there is no way Martin would go ahead without having checking with Boris. There is no way any PPS would. If two senior people come to you and say, ‘this should not happen’, you really don’t then commence with it without having speaking to the principal.”

Requested about Cummings’s most recent statements, a No 10 spokesperson pointed to an before assertion, saying: “It is untrue that the prime minister was warned about the [20 May] celebration in advance. As he explained … he believed implicitly that this was a perform occasion. He has apologised to the property and is committed to earning a more assertion as soon as the investigation concludes.”

The bash on 20 May possibly has emerged as the most contentious celebration for Johnson out of all the allegations that lockdown principles ended up damaged in Downing Street.

With Tory MPs brazenly questioning Johnson’s long run as occasion leader, there are worries among the backbenchers about a drip-drip of even more damaging revelations leading to harm to the government’s name.

John Crace will be part of a Guardian Live on line occasion about the No 10 lockdown parties and Boris Johnson’s long term this Wednesday 19 January from 8pm to 9pm GMT. Book right here