Johnson backs aide who organised Downing Street ‘BYOB’ garden party

The PM’s official spokesman said Martin Reynolds “continues in his role”.

Geraldine Scott
Tuesday 11 January 2022 12:18
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds (left) (PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds (left) (PA)

The senior Downing Street official who invited more than 100 employees to a “bring your own booze” party in the No 10 garden during Covid restrictions retains the full confidence of the Prime Minister

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman confirmed Martin Reynolds, the Prime Minister’s principal private secretary, “continues in his role” after ITV news revealed he invited employees to the gathering during England’s first lockdown in May 2020.

Asked whether Mr Johnson still had full confidence in one of his most senior aides, the spokesman said he did.

The leaked email, which came to light on Monday, said: “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 No 10 garden this evening.

“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

Mr Johnson will avoid scrutiny over the allegation on Tuesday, as paymaster general Michael Ellis was instead dispatched to face an urgent question in the Commons.

Asked what the Prime Minister was doing rather than responding himself, the PM’s spokesman said: “I don’t have the full diary in front of me at the moment but it’s not uncommon, obviously, for Government ministers to answer these sorts of questions.”

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