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Leaked email shows Boris Johnson aide inviting staff to 'bring your own booze' to a gathering held during England's strict COVID-19 lockdown: report

Jan 11, 2022, 02:28 IST
Business Insider
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves number 10, Downing Street as he heads to the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Foreign Office on November 10, 2020 in London, England.Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images
  • A leaked email shows an aide for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson inviting staff to a May 2020 party.
  • "Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!" the email said, which was leaked to ITV.

A leaked email shows an aide for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson inviting staff to "bring your own booze" to a gathering held during England's strict COVID-19 lockdown.

"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," Johnson's Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds said in an email to over a hundred staffers at Johnson's 10 Downing Street office.

"Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!" Reynolds wrote in the email obtained by British broadcaster ITV News, which was sent on May 20, 2020.

Around 40 staffers gathered for food and drinks in the garden that day, including Johnson and his wife, according to the report.

A Downing Street spokesperson told Insider that Downing Street declined to "comment on this while the investigation is ongoing."


The leaked email comes after Dominic Cummings, the former chief aide to Johnson, wrote on a Substack blog on Friday that there was a May 2020 social gathering in the Number 10 garden "that should not have happened."

Johnson has come under fire lately as claims surface that the government hosted parties and social gatherings while England faced harsh lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.

While initial lockdowns in the country were introduced in March 2020, people were not allowed to attend outdoor gatherings of six people until June, the BBC reported on Monday.

Reports of a Downing Street holiday party in December 2020 have even sparked calls for Johnson's resignation.

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, slammed Johnson in a statement Monday, saying that he "has consistently shown that he has no regard for the rules he puts in place for the rest of us."


She added: "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."

The UK is currently facing a surge in daily new COVID-19 cases — with a seven-day average of nearly 172,000 as of January 7, according to the latest government data.

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