Downing Street staff were invited to a party during the height of lockdown in May 2020 to “make the most of the lovely weather”, a new leaked email has revealed.
An email was sent by the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds to more than 100 staff in Number 10, telling them to “bring your own booze!” to the event on 20 May.
ITV reports that around 40 staff attended the party, including Boris and Carrie Johnson.
There is an ongoing investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into the many allegations of lockdown breaking parties in Downing Street in 2020.
The email would appear to be the smoking gun that proves the Prime Minister knew about at least one of the events, despite a series of previous denials.
Reynolds, a civil servant who runs Johnson’s private office, writes in the email: “After what has been an incredibly busy period it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening.
“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”
It comes after a photo of Johnson’s staff drinking wine and chatting in the Downing Street garden on 15 May 2020 emerged last month.
Downing Street said the event, which was attended by the Prime Minister, was a work event that only happened to involve wine and cheese.
Responding to the latest revelation, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “At the time this party took place, key workers on the frontline were working round the clock to keep us all safe, people suffered loneliness and loss in unimaginably tough circumstances and for the majority of the country our freedom was limited to a daily walk.
“Boris Johnson has consistently shown that he has no regard for the rules he puts in place for the rest of us.”
Downing Street declined to comment.
A Met Police spokesperson said on Monday evening: “The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at Downing Street on 20 May 2020 and is in contact with the Cabinet Office.”