Watch moment Boris Johnson denies party at No 10 on night he was pictured drinking

Photos have since emerged of PM at a lockdown party that he denied ever happened

Lamiat Sabin
Monday 23 May 2022 19:36
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Moment PM denies No 10 party took place on day he was photographed drinking

Boris Johnson told MPs that there was no lockdown party at Downing Street – a claim since discredited by the emergence of new photos showing him drinking at the event in question.

In December 2021 in the House of Commons, Labour MP Catherine West asked the prime minister to say “whether there was a party in Downing Street on 13 November [2020]?”

In the brief exchange, Mr Johnson replied, to the jeers of opposition MPs: “No, but I am sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times.”

Almost 18 months later, his denial was contradicted by four photos, obtained by ITV News and published on Monday 23 May, that show the prime minister raising a toast at a party for his then director of communications Lee Cain on 13 November.

The PM raising a glass at his former aide’s leaving party in Downing Street

The emergence of the photos has prompted questions over why Mr Johnson was not fined for attending the party while others were.

Opposition parties have since intensified their calls for Conservative MPs to oust Mr Johnson from No 10.

Angela Rayner has accused the prime minister of undoubtedly lying about the lockdown-busting parties held in Downing Street.

The deputy Labour leader said: “While the British public were making huge sacrifices, Boris Johnson was breaking the law.

“Boris Johnson said repeatedly that he knew nothing about law-breaking – there’s no doubt now, he lied. Boris Johnson made the rules, and then broke them.

“The prime minister has demeaned his office. The British people deserve better. While Labour has a plan for tackling the cost-of-living crisis, Tory MPs are too busy defending the indefensible actions of Boris Johnson.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper has written to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to ask its director-general Michael Lockwood to probe why the Metropolitan Police did not fine Mr Johnson for attending the party.

In response to the photos, Downing Street said Mr Johnson will address parliament “in full”.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “The Cabinet Office and the Met Police have had access to all information relevant to their investigations, including photographs.

“The Met have concluded their investigation and Sue Gray will publish her report in the coming days, at which point the Prime Minister will address Parliament in full.”

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