Boris Johnson had birthday party during first lockdown, new report claims
Up to 30 people are said to have attended the gathering
Boris Johnson had a birthday party during the first lockdown in 2020, despite restrictions forbidding social gatherings indoors at the time, as reported by ITV News.
According to the report, the Prime Minister's wife, Carrie Johnson, was involved in organising a surprise party for him in the afternoon of June 19 at around 2pm.
Up to 30 people are said to have attended the gathering in the Cabinet Room, with Johnson returning from an official visit to a school in Hertfordshire earlier in the day.
ITV News add that the interior designer, Lulu Lytle - who was renovating Johnson's flat in Downing Street and is not a member of No 10 staff - also attended the surprise party.
The alleged party came just nine days after Johnson asked the public "to continue to show restraint and respect the rules which are designed to keep us all safe" during a Downing Street covid press conference.
The report also states that on the evening of June 19 2020, family and friends were hosted upstairs in the prime minister’s residence in another alleged breach of the rules. Number 10 have denied this claims, insisting that the prime minister only hosted a small number of family members outside, rather than inside.
Carrie Johnson and Lulu Lytle are thought to have given Johnson a birthday cake while his wife and staff sang 'happy birthday'. The gathering reportedly lasted around 20-30 minutes, but Downing Street have stated that the prime minister only attended the party for less than 10 minutes.
It is thought that Jack Doyle - currently No 10's director of communications and the head of operations - and Shelley Williams-Walker also attended. They were reportedly joined by additional members of the prime minister's Private Office, No 10 special advisers and No 10 operations and events staff.
The prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds - who invited over 100 staff to a drinks party on in May 2020 - is said to have been present as well.
A week before the birthday party, Johnson asked the nation to stick to the guidance in a press conference from Downing Street.
He said: "I urge everyone to continue to show restraint and respect the rules which are designed to keep us all safe. It’s only because of the restraint that everyone, you all have shown so far, that we are able to move gradually out of this lockdown."
"It is emphatically not designed for people who don't qualify to start meeting inside other people's homes - that remains against the law," the PM added.
In June 2020, social gatherings indoors were banned.
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