Drinks events were ‘weekly Downing Street incident during pandemic’

Beverage events were a weekly event at No10 throughout the pandemic, with staff holding “wine time Friday” regularly, according to a newspaper report.

The mirror reported allegations that Boris Johnson often attended the events and urged staff to “let the steam out”.

This was despite Covid-19 restrictions imposing strict rules on people meeting others indoors through much of the pandemic.

Staff bought a £ 142 drink fridge to keep the bottles cool in the office, reported the newspaper.

No10 did not reject the allegations, but pointed to Sue Gray inquiry to Downing Street parties and said the results would be announced in due course.

A No10 spokesman said: “There is an ongoing investigation to establish facts about the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, setting and the purpose of referring to compliance with the guidelines at that time.

“The results will be published at a later date.”

The claim comes after it has emerged that one suitcase allegedly used to ferry wine in a Downing Street party has been used for such purposes since at least David Cameron’s tenure in No10.

It told a former No. 10 adviser I the suitcase had been around Downing Street for several years.

“Friday night is always press office drinks, people put money in and someone is nominated to get the booze,” they said.

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“The suitcase is the most convenient way to drive it all back instead of clinking in with some carrying cases.”

The bag was allegedly used for one leaving drinks event held for James Slack, the Prime Minister’s former communications director, in April.

It was one of two events held at No10 the day before Prince Philips’ funeral – in which the Queen was forced to mourn alone.

Another party was arranged for another member of staff who was also on his way. Both groups joined later in the night of April 16, 2021, where about 30 employees are said to have been drinking and dancing, it is claimed.

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