The Downing Street party explained what Boris Johnson Assistant’s No. 10 garden drink email said

Boris Johnson faces accusations that he participated a “BYOB” party in the garden at 10 Downing Street in May 2020 – in height of the first Covid-19 shutdown.

ITV News has received an email reportedly inviting over 100 people to “socially distant drinks” on May 20, 2020.

Back then, people were only allowed to meet one person from another household outdoors.

The email was sent by the Prime Minister’s Primary Private Secretary, Martin Reynolds.

It reportedly reads:

“Hello everyone,

“After what has been an incredibly busy period, we thought it would be nice to get the best out of the lovely weather and have some socially distant drinks in the No10 garden this evening.

“Come with us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

What does BYOB mean?

BYOB stands for “bring your own booze” or sometimes “bring your own bottle”.

It is commonly associated with party invitations, where no alcohol is served, to encourage people to bring their own beverages if they wish.

The specific mention of booze is particularly condemning for No. 10, as it has tried to pass on previous accusations of lockdown gatherings such as work meetings.

What were the Covid rules at the time?

Minister of Culture Oliver Dowden had held a press conference hours before the party and reminded people that they should only meet in pairs.

“You can meet one person outside your household in an outdoor, public place, provided you stay two feet apart,” he said.

However, it is reported that about 40 employees attended the Downing Street party, ate picnic food and drank alcohol.

It is alleged that both the Prime Minister and his wife Carrie were present.

Asked if he attended a party in May 2020, Mr Johnson simply replied: “Everything you know is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray.”

Ms. Gray is leading the investigation into reports of multiple parties and gatherings in Downing Street during the lockdown.

The Prime Minister has previously insisted that no guidelines were broken.

More about Covid-19

On December 1, he told MPs during the Prime Minister’s question, in response to accusations of a Christmas party: “All guidance was fully followed in No. 10.”

He added at PMQs the following week: “I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations surfaced that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken.”

In an interview on December 13, he claimed, “I can once again tell you that I certainly did not break any rules. All of that is being investigated.”

Metropolitan Police have said they are investigating reports of the May party.

Scotland Yard said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of widespread reporting of alleged breaches of health protection rules in Downing Street on 20 May 2020 and is in contact with the Cabinet Office.”

Encourages PM to contact Commons

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labor Party, has called on the Prime Minister to meet questions from MPs about the alleged party in the House of Commons.

“The series of revelations about parties and other events in Downing Street have made fun of anyone who diligently followed the rules – often at great personal cost,” she said.

“Boris Johnson has repeatedly claimed that no rules were broken in No. 10, but the truth is out. He misled the public and misled Parliament.

“Of course it is true that there is a question, but we do not need it for the Prime Minister to tell the truth.

“Boris Johnson should come to the House of Commons today and finally come clean.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: “This garden party looks like a clear breach of the decommissioning rules at a time when the public was ordered to stay home.

‘Boris Johnson himself said a few days after this party that the police should step in to stop people holding outdoor gatherings. It would definitely smell of double standards if the police do not fully investigate these allegations.

“We have to get to the bottom of this. If rules were broken, those responsible should see the full force of the law.”

Further reporting from the Press Association

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