Details have emerged of what appears to be another alcoholic social event on Downing Street during the blockade that did not appear to be investigated by police or a formal public service investigation.
According to mirror30 to 40 employees drank alcohol and ate takeaway snacks to mark the latest press briefing by then-spokesman Boris Johnson James SlackNovember 17, 2020
The photo obtained by the newspaper shows that the official places bottles of wine and champagne-type drinks. It is reported that the photo was sent to employee No. 10 in the WhatsApp group in response to a message that said: “It’s time to open the Covid security panel.”
The photo was published in response with the message: “The bar is open.” Other reports reported by the Mirror appear to be intentional, with one referring to “Wine Time Tuesday” and the other to buying “booze booze”. One official says, “If anyone can help me carry it, I’ll be happy to go.”
The event took place four days after drinking Lee Kane, Johnson’s head of communications. On monday ITV News received images showing the Prime Minister at the event, raising his glass and seeming to toast to Cain and delivering a speech.
These images are there put pressure on the metropolitan police to explain why Johnson was not fined for attending a rally on Nov. 13 when there were others.
The November 17 event was not among the meetings being investigated by the Metropolitan, and was not included in the list of those considered in the interim report on parties violating the blockade, senior civil servant Sue Gray. Her full report is expected to appear on Wednesday.
Slack, who was a civil servant rather than a political appointee like Cain, was elected to replace Cain as head of communications. The November 17 booze was reportedly held in honor of the last time Johnson, as an official spokesman, spoke to the media at daily briefings in the lobby.
At that time, due to the blockade, the briefings were held virtually, not in person. Slack left number 10 in April 2021. This party, which took place the day before Prince Philip’s funeral, when indoor mixing was forbidden, was reported and investigated. He is now the deputy editor of the Sun.
Evidence that there appears to be another public event planned in advance puts additional pressure on Johnson ahead of Gray’s findings, amid reports that more Conservative MPs may file letters of no confidence in the prime minister.
If Gray’s full report is released on Wednesday, it will likely be sent to Downing Street this morning, published shortly thereafter, and Johnson has vowed to make a statement in Parliament and answer questions from MPs. No. 10 said Johnson would then seek a press conference.
A spokesman for № 10 said: “As part of the investigation, the Cabinet team was able to talk to № 10 staff to establish the facts of what happened during this period. Both they and the metropolitan police had access to all information relevant to their investigation, including photographs.
“Matt has completed the investigation, and Sue Gray will soon publish her report, after which the prime minister will fully address parliament.”
Turned to Slack for comment.