Partygate reports have dogged Boris Johnson and his government over the past month or so and now, arguably, the most damaging piece of evidence yet has emerged. “Hi all, After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought 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!” There it is, in black and white. An email from the prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, sent to up to 100 staff inviting them to a bash in the Downing Street garden, which several sources say Johnson attended. At the time the email was sent in May 2020 — at the height of the first Covid lockdown — people were banned from meeting more than one person socially outdoors. It is understood that up to 30 people eventually attended the bash to eat picnic food and drink. The government response? No 10 says it will not comment while Sue Gray, the official in charge of investigating party reports, carries out her work. But questions about whether or not the PM did in fact attend are unlikely to go away any time soon.
Inside the bubble
Our chief political commentator John Rentoul on what to look out for:
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