Sue Gray: Karaoke, fighting, and partying until 4am on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral

Sue Gray: Karaoke, fighting, and partying until 4am on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral 2
Advertisement

Downing Street staff drank, fought and vomited their way through lockdown, knowingly breaking lockdown rules and taking especial steps to avoid being caught out, Sue Gray’s Partygate report reveals today. 

Advertisement

While the Prime Minister gets off relatively lightly in the 37-page document, officials and aides are less fortunate. Ms Gray highlighted 12 occasions where they played hard and fast with the law, taste and decency.

Perhaps the most egregious event was a leaving do held on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. 

Advertisement

Hours before the Queen struck a lonely figure at St George’s Chapel, mourning her spouse alone to comply with Covid rules, a group partied until 4am, drinking ‘excessively’ and damaging children’s toys in the No10 garden.

On other occasions some got so drunk they vomited and fought inside Government buildings, before sneaking out the back exits to avoid the risk of being pictured by press photographers in Downing Street itself. 

Mr Johnson’s former principle private secretary Martin Reynolds – dubbed ‘Party Marty’ – comes in for much criticism, with a hand in many events. 

He has since left his post and is due to become the UK’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is banned. 

Advertisement

Following a ‘bring your own booze’ party in the Downing Street garden in May 2020 he told an aide they had ‘got away with’ the event because no one had raised public questions. 

Mr Johnson insisted he takes ‘full responsibility’ for Partygate after Sue Gray gave a grim account of drunken antics at the heart of government.

The PM told MPs that the government had ‘learned our lesson’ and he personally was ‘humbled’ after being issued a fine – saying he ‘renewed my apology’.

But Mr Johnson also denied lying to Parliament about the breaches, arguing that leaving dos were needed to keep up ‘morale’ while people were ‘working hard’ and he was ‘proud’ of the efforts of staff.

Advertisement

Saying he wanted to ‘move on’, the premier told the House: ‘I take full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch.’

Mr Johnson was heckled as he said ‘the entire senior management has changed’, and Keir Starmer accused him of treating the country ‘with contempt’. But the Labour leader was forced to deny he had broken the law as he was barracked over the ‘Beergate’ police investigation into an election campaign visit to Durham last year.

Here we look at the events investigated by Ms Gray. 

Hours before the Queen struck a lonely figure at St George's Chapel in April 2021, mourning her spouse alone to comply with Covid rules, a group of No10 aides partied until 4am, drinking 'excessively' and damaging children's toys in the No10 garden

Hours before the Queen struck a lonely figure at St George’s Chapel in April 2021, mourning her spouse alone to comply with Covid rules, a group of No10 aides partied until 4am, drinking ‘excessively’ and damaging children’s toys in the No10 garden

Advertisement
Sue Gray: Karaoke, fighting, and partying until 4am on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral 3

Mr Johnson’s former principle private secretary Martin Reynolds (left) – dubbed ‘Party Marty’ – comes in for much criticism, with a hand on many events.

Boris Johnson

Ministers are braced for the fallout from the verdict of Ms Gray (pictured in Westminster earlier this year)

After Sue Gray (right) concluded her report, Mr Johnson (left) told MPs that the government had ‘learned our lesson’ and he personally was ‘humbled’ after being issued a fine – saying he ‘renewed my apology’

May 15, 2020 – Boris’s ‘cheese and wine’ party in the No10 garden was just a ‘work meeting

The Prime Minister and his wife – apparently holding their newborn baby, Wilf – were seen sitting at a table with two people while another 13 were pictured with bottles of alcohol nearby at a table and on the lawn on Friday May 15, 2020. 

Advertisement

The pictures, taken by an unknown person within the Downing Street complex, caused uproar when they were released late last year. 

Ms Gray, in her report today, revealed that it was the PM himself who brought wine and cheese from his flat out to the garden. 

The Prime Minister and his wife - apparently holding their newborn baby, Wilf - were seen sitting at a table with two people while another 13 were pictured with bottles of alcohol nearby at a table and on the lawn on Friday May 15, 2020.

The Prime Minister and his wife – apparently holding their newborn baby, Wilf – were seen sitting at a table with two people while another 13 were pictured with bottles of alcohol nearby at a table and on the lawn on Friday May 15, 2020.

But she also cleared him of wrongdoing, saying: ‘At a table on the terrace, the Prime Minister, Martin Reynolds (his Principal Private Secretary), and Dominic Cummings (his senior adviser) were continuing a lengthy meeting that had started in the Prime Ministers office, before moving to the garden at around 18.00. 

Advertisement

‘The Prime Minister brought cheese and wine from his flat. The outdoor part of the meeting lasted for 40 minutes to an hour and they were briefly joined by the Prime Ministers wife, during which time the photograph was taken. 

‘Martin Reynolds subsequently returned to the office to continue working. The Prime Minister remained in the garden until around 19.20.’

‘There is a further group of four individuals sitting at a table on the terrace. It ha s not been possible to identify these individuals, but there is no reason to suggest that this was anything other than a further work meeting.’

May 20: Bring your own booze garden party that No10 though it  ‘got away with’

Advertisement

A leaked email from senior civil servant Martin Reynolds to around 200 Downing Street employees invited them to ‘bring your own booze’ for an evening gathering. 

It followed a press conference in which then Health Secretary Matt Hancock had warned people to take precautions against catching the virus.  

It read: ‘Hi all, After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of this lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!’ 

The PM has admitted attending the gathering, which amounted to between 30 and 40 people. He previously insisted he believed it was a work event which could ‘technically’ have been within the rules. No10 told Sue Gray the event was for ‘boosting staff morale following a challenging period for staff’ during the pandemic. 

Advertisement

The report found that he attended for around 30 minutes before returning to his office for a 6.30pm meeting.  

Ms Gray was handed further emails sent around inside No 10 beforehand that highlight the excitement at what was to come.

One No10 adviser replied: ‘Drinks this eve is a lovely idea so I’ve shared with the E & V team who are in the office. Just to flag that the press conference will probably be finishing around that time, so helpful if people can be mindful of that as speakers and cameras are leaving, not walking around waving bottles of wine etc.’

She said that Mr Reynolds replied: ‘Will do my best!….’

Advertisement

However others urged caution. One No 10 Director declined the invitation and told the investigation that they had raised with either Martin Reynolds or his office that it was not a good idea. 

Also, Lee Cain, at that time No 10’s director of communications emailed Martin Reynolds saying: ‘I’m sure it will be fine – and I applaud the gesture – but a 200 odd person invitation for drinks in the garden of no 10 is somewhat of a comms risk in the current environment.’ 

Ms Gray added: ‘Lee Cain says he subsequently spoke to Martin Reynolds and advised him that the event should be cancelled. Martin Reynolds does not recall any such conversation. In addition, Dominic Cummings has also said that he too raised concerns, in writing. We have not found any documentary evidence of this.’

The report found that after the party Mr Reynolds sent a message to an adviser suggesting they had ‘got away with’ the event because no one had raised public questions.

Advertisement

Scotland Yard handed out fines to some of those who attended this event. 

June 18, 2020: Karaoke, fighting and vomiting at leaving ‘drinks that are not drinks’ 

Officials partied and sang karaoke to mark the departure of a No10 aide. In an astonishing development the report reveals that Helen MacNamara, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary, and a former ethics chief, was the person who brought the karaoke machine.

The event was apparently held to mark the departure of a Number 10 private secretary. Gatherings of to or more persons indoors and more than six outdoors were prohibited at the time. It started in the Cabinet Room, where there were booze and speeches as people socialised for around an hour.

Advertisement

Later, the report confirms, they moved on to the offices of Cabinet Secretary Simon Case in 70 Whitehall, where there was ‘alcohol, food and music’.

Ms Gray reported: ‘The event lasted for a number of hours. There was excessive alcohol consumption by some individuals. One individual was sick. There was a minor altercation between two other individuals.’

Mr Reynolds is again at the heart of this event. In a Whatsapp exchange released by Ms Gray, he clearly is aware that the event would breach rules and potentially be a PR disaster.

Speaking with Mr Cain he asked: ‘Is it safer to do a larger event indoors but with some people carrying on outside afterwards? 

Advertisement

Cain replied: ‘I’m not sure it works at all to be honest, which would be a shame. I don’t see how we can have some kind of party though..’

Asked by Reynolds if they should scrap the idea, Cain adds: ‘Its your decision my friend, not mind [sic]! But it obviously comes with rather substantial comms risks.’

Another adviser emailed Reynolds with a question about ‘your drinks which aren’t drinks’.

June 19: Boris Johnson’s surprise birthday party – with cake and fines

Advertisement

Downing Street admitted staff ‘gathered briefly’ in the Cabinet Room after a meeting.

The PM, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have all received fines for attending.

Ms Gray today released pictures of the PM and Chancellor at the event. The PM is shown with a beer in his hand. 

Despite some attempts by officials to suggest there was no cake, a celebratory sponge is explicitly mentioned in messages.

Advertisement

Former No10 aide Cleo Watson told the inquiry she was asked to arrange the party, but does not say who by. Mrs Johnson has been accused of arranging it as a surprise for his 56th birthday.

Beforehand she messaged Mr Reynolds, saying: ‘Hi! PM birthday today – we’ve organised some sandwiches and cake for about 1pm in the Cabinet Room if anyone from your team would like to pop in and wish him a happy birthday.’

Ms Gray today released pictures of the PM and Chancellor at the event. The PM is shown with a beer in his hand.

Ms Gray today released pictures of the PM and Chancellor at the event. The PM is shown with a beer in his hand.

The PM, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have all received fines for attending.

The PM, his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have all received fines for attending.

Advertisement
Former No10 aide Cleo Watson told the inquiry she was asked to arrange the party, but does not say who by. Mrs Johnson has been accused of arranging it as a surprise for his 56th birthday.

Former No10 aide Cleo Watson told the inquiry she was asked to arrange the party, but does not say who by. Mrs Johnson has been accused of arranging it as a surprise for his 56th birthday.

Mr Reynolds later sent an email of his own, saying: ‘For the PMs birthday today we are having sandwiches and cake in the Cabinet room so do come along and wish the PM happy birthday.’ 

But Ms Gray pointed out the PM was unaware of the event in advance and it was not in his official diary.

‘He returned from an external visit to No10 Downing Street at approximately 14.20 and was taken into the Cabinet Room which had been set up with sandwiches, snacks, soft drinks and cans of beer,’ she said.

Advertisement

‘Those attending included No 10 officials and Mrs. Johnson. The Permanent Secretary for Covid and Pandemic Response, Simon Case, attended for a short period having arrived early for a meeting which was due to take place in the Cabinet room.

‘The Chancellor was also there briefly having also arrived early for the same meeting. He had no advance knowledge about what had been planned.

‘The event lasted between 14.25 and 14.45, throughout which the Prime Minister was present. Those attending consumed food and drink, and some drank alcohol. There are photographs of the event.’

November 13: Lee Cain’s ‘Wine Time Friday’ leaving do and the Abba party

Advertisement

Dominic Cummings and his ally Mr Cain were ousted in December 2020 after losing a power battle with Mrs Johnson. And leaving drinks were held for the former, hours after Mr Cummings was pictured walking out of No10 with a box of his belongings.

This was during the second national lockdown, and the rules at the time ‘prohibited indoor gatherings of two or more people from other households except for permitted exceptions, including where the gathering is reasonable necessary for work purposes’.

Officials said that while the event in question was not planned in advance, it happened around the same time as the press and media team usually held a regular ‘wine time Friday’.

Mr Johnson attended and gave a speech to Mr Cain, who had worked with him on the Vote Leave campaign and then later when he was foreign secretary.

Advertisement

The report notes: ‘Wine had been provided and those attending, including the Prime Minister, were drinking alcohol.’

Fines were later handed out to some of those attending the party, but not the Prime Minister. 

Dominic Cummings and his ally Mr Cain were ousted in December 2020 after losing a power battle with Mrs Johnson.

Dominic Cummings and his ally Mr Cain were ousted in December 2020 after losing a power battle with Mrs Johnson.

And leaving drinks were held for the former, hours after Mr Cummings was pictured walking out of No10 with a box of his belongings.

And leaving drinks were held for the former, hours after Mr Cummings was pictured walking out of No10 with a box of his belongings.

Advertisement
Mr Johnson attended and gave a speech to Mr Cain, who had worked with him on the Vote Leave campaign and then later when he was foreign secretary.

Mr Johnson attended and gave a speech to Mr Cain, who had worked with him on the Vote Leave campaign and then later when he was foreign secretary.

Later on, Mr Johnson was accused of attending a party with loud Abba music in the No11 flat he shared with his family, to celebrate the ousting of Mr Cain and Mr Cummings.

But Ms Gray described the event as ‘a meeting …to discuss the handling of their departure’ and revealed she did not seek to probe it in great detail.

‘Five special advisers attended. The Prime Minister joined them at about 20.00. Food and alcohol were available,’ she said.

Advertisement

‘The discussion carried on later into the evening with attendees leaving at various points. The information collected on this gathering is limited as the process of obtaining evidence had only just been commenced when the Metropolitan Police announced their own investigations, which included events on the 13 November 2020. 

‘At this point I stopped my investigation, given the need to avoid any prejudice to the police investigation. 

‘Following the Metropolitan Police announcement on 19 May 2022 I considered whether or not to conduct any further investigation into this event but concluded it was not appropriate or proportionate to do so.’

November 27: PM attends impromptu boozy gathering to say goodbye to aide

Advertisement

A gathering of 15 to 20 people was organised at short notice to mark the departure of a No10 aide. Reports suggested it was for Ms Watson, an ally of Mr Cummings.

She had gone to the press office to say goodbye to people at their desks. But there was later a flurry of messages between aides, including one saying: ‘Were [sic] ill you be in 20 minutes?’

The report noted:  The Prime Minister finished a meeting at 18.19 and then attended the Press Office to say goodbye. He remained for a short time, saying a few words of thanks and farewell, before returning to his office for his next meeting which was scheduled for 18.45.’

December 10:  Gavin Williamson attends socially distanced ‘festive drinks’ at the Department for Education 

Advertisement

An hour-long event with alcohol was held so the then secretary of state, Gavin Williamson, could thank staff for their hard work ahead of the Christmas break.

It was held in the staff canteen, because it was better ventilated than the offices originally earmarked. An email sent to around 50 staff three days beforehand set out what was planned.

‘We’re planning on having some socially distanced festive drinks in the canteen on Thursday. It would be great if you could join us,’ it said.

An hour-long event with alcohol was held so the then secretary of state, Gavin Williamson, could thank staff for their hard work ahead of the Christmas break.

An hour-long event with alcohol was held so the then secretary of state, Gavin Williamson, could thank staff for their hard work ahead of the Christmas break.

Advertisement

‘This is open to Private Office staff and ministers if they are around. For those working at home there are plans for a Christmas Divisional where people will be able to dial in and have a Virtual Festive gathering.’

The report noted: ‘At the event there was wine, some of which, along with mince pies, was provided by the Secretary of State and his Private Office. 

‘The Secretary of State thanked staff at the event, leaving shortly afterwards to travel back to his constituency. Some people remained in the canteen for a short period. The event lasted around 60 minutes.’

Mr Williamson ran Boris Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign in 2019, having been previously fired by Theresa May when he was defence secretary, over leaks from a top secret meeting. 

Advertisement

He was again axed last September in a Cabinet reshuffle, having faced criticism and calls to resign after overseeing months of Covid schools chaos and the exam result fiasco in 2020 and 2021.

When his removal was confirmed, Labour’s Angela Rayner described him as a ‘prat’. He was later handed a knighthood. 

December 15:  Downing Street’s online Christmas Party – with staff told to TAKE pictures

Boris Johnson’s attendance at an online Christmas party in 2020 was revealed in a photo published by the Sunday Mirror last year. 

Advertisement

Pictures show the Prime Minister sat under a portrait of Margaret Thatcher on-screen making a special appearance as ‘quizmaster’ for one of the rounds, flanked by staff wearing tinsel and Santa hats. 

He is sat between two colleagues while London was under ‘no mixing’ guidance – and three days before the No10 Christmas party (below).

Pictures show the Prime Minister sat under a portrait of Margaret Thatcher on-screen making a special appearance as 'quizmaster' for one of the rounds, flanked by staff wearing tinsel and Santa hats.

Pictures show the Prime Minister sat under a portrait of Margaret Thatcher on-screen making a special appearance as ‘quizmaster’ for one of the rounds, flanked by staff wearing tinsel and Santa hats.

Ms Gray’s report said that the event, including prize-giving, lasted three-and-a-half hours. ‘Alcohol and food was available in Downing Street and at 70 Whitehall, supplied and paid for by staff attending,’ she said.

Advertisement

In an email setting up the event, staff are told to ‘dress up for the festive season and get our cameras on!’ This appears to have backfired, with the leaking of incriminating images of the PM.

Up to 150 people, in person and online, are believed to have taken part.

Ms Gray added that the Pm stayed for around 12 minutes to act as quiz master for one of the rounds

‘This had been agreed in principle in advance and was confirmed on the day. This is not unusual, he was frequently called upon by his office to attend staff events,’ she said.

Advertisement

‘Some staff drank alcohol. A No 10 official sent a message on internal No 10 systems referring to drunkenness and advising staff to leave No 10 via the back exit. 

‘The No 10 official informed the investigation team that they did this in order to avoid staff being photographed by the press outside.’

December 17, 2020: Prosecco bash for Covid task force chief where social distancing rules were ignored

Around 20 to 30 people attended a leaving do in the Cabinet Office, at 70 Whitehall, for a No10 official and Kate Josephs, a director general of the Covid task force.

Advertisement

Attendees had been invited to a ‘Covid secure’ event and staff were urged not to travel to the office for the bash unless they were otherwise planning to.

The report found the intention to follow social distancing guidance ‘did not happen’ as attendees gathered in small groups and mingled.

Around 20 to 30 people attended a leaving do in the Cabinet Office, at 70 Whitehall, for a No10 official and Kate Josephs, a director general of the Covid task force.

Around 20 to 30 people attended a leaving do in the Cabinet Office, at 70 Whitehall, for a No10 official and Kate Josephs, a director general of the Covid task force.

Prosecco, beer and crisps had been bought and music was played through a smartphone.

Advertisement

The event ‘began to wind down’ between 10pm to 10.30pm but a smaller group of around six to eight people remained.

Six pizzas were ordered for the group with some staying until past midnight.

Some joined with other Cabinet Office staff with the intention of joining another leaving event taking place in No10 that night.

December 18, 2020: A ‘wine and cheese evening’ in No10 with a ‘Secret Santa’ and a quiz – which ended with a red wine-covered wall amid ‘excessive’ drinking

Advertisement

Two days after London was moved into strict Tier 3 Covid restrictions, between 20 and 45 people gathered for a Christmas event in the No10 press office.

Attendees were invited to a ‘Wine & Cheese Evening’ , which was arranged to take place at the usual time of the press office’s weekly ‘Wine Time Friday’.

The boozy bash began at 6pm and saw Secret Santa gifts exchanged, a quiz, and an awards ceremony with certificates handed out by senior adviser Jack Doyle.

Around 7.45pm a panic alarm was accidently triggered by one staff member which saw security staff and a police officer respond.

Advertisement
The boozy bash began at 6pm and saw Secret Santa gifts exchanged, a quiz, and an awards ceremony with certificates handed out by senior adviser Jack Doyle.

The boozy bash began at 6pm and saw Secret Santa gifts exchanged, a quiz, and an awards ceremony with certificates handed out by senior adviser Jack Doyle.

They witnessed a ‘large number of people’ gathered in the area outside the main press office, with a further 15-20 people present inside.

The report found some staff ‘drank excessively’ at the ‘crowded and noisy’ event, which those working elsewhere in No10 at the time described as a ‘party’.

The event lasted for ‘several hours’ with some staff members remaining in the office until after midnight.

Advertisement

A cleaner who attended the room the next morning noted that there had been red wine spilled on one wall and on a number of boxes of photocopier paper.

The report found that ‘some work’ took place in the press office and No10 did take place while the event was underway, with officials working on negotiations on the Brexit trade deal and the Delta wave of Covid cases. 

Prior to the event, WhatsApp messages between staff discussed the purchase of a fridge for the office. 

January 14, 2021: PM’s speech at leaving do for No10 officials – which went on beyond 11pm

Advertisement

At the time of England’s third national lockdown, a leaving event took place in No10 for two officials with booze available.

It began around 6pm with around 15 people attending in person and up to 30 people joining virtually.

The PM attended for around 10 minutes in between meetings and gave a ‘short speech’ to thank the staff who were leaving.

There were also further speeches by other members of No10 staff.

Advertisement

Once they had finished, some people left but others remained to chat and drink with the event’s end time ‘unclear’, according to the report.

Sue Gray was told some of those present were still there beyond 11pm. 

April 16, 2021: Leaving dos for the PM’s former spin chief and a No10 official on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral – which lasted until 4.20am

Two boozy bashes were held in Number 10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral – which saw a child’s swing broken in the Downing Street garden and the final partygoer leave at 4.20am.

Advertisement

One of the leaving events was held for the PM’s outgoing director of communications, James Slack, and another for an unnamed No10 official.

At the time, gatherings of two or more people indoors and more than six people outdoors were banned unless deemed ‘reasonably necessary’ for work purposes.

Just hours later, the Queen – observing Covid restrictions – was forced to sit alone at her husband’s funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. 

One of the leaving events was held for the PM's outgoing director of communications, James Slack, and another for an unnamed No10 official.

One of the leaving events was held for the PM’s outgoing director of communications, James Slack, and another for an unnamed No10 official.

Advertisement
Just hours later, the Queen - observing Covid restrictions - was forced to sit alone at her husband's funeral at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

Just hours later, the Queen – observing Covid restrictions – was forced to sit alone at her husband’s funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

The PM was not staying at No10 that night. 

Sue Gray’s report found the parties lasted ‘for several hours’ in both No10 and the Downing Street garden.

The event for Mr Slack began around 6.30pm with speeches in the No10 press office, which lasted for around an hour. 

Advertisement

Approximately 45 people were in attendance both in the office and a small number joining online.

Wine and beer had been bought by staff and attendees included senior officials.

Meanwhile, the second event for the other No10 official was held in the building’s basement and began around the same time with 15 to 20 people present, including a special adviser and more junior officials.

Wine was available, music was played from a laptop and the report found ‘a number of those present drank excessively’.

Advertisement

Attendees of the two events mingled and they eventually joined together in the Downing Street garden.

Shortly before 9.30pm there were more than 20 people gathered in the garden with a number of bottles of booze.

A child’s swing and slide set was damaged by staff leaning on it and playing with it.

As No10 began to be locked down for the evening, the group began to break up and returned to the main building around 9.30pm.

Advertisement

Some remained to carry on drinking until the early hours with some leaving after midnight and others between 1.45am and 2.45am.

Two members of staff stayed even later, with the last leaving at 4.20am.

Partygate timeline of events 2020 – 2022

2020

– March 23: First Covid lockdown begins. Non-essential shops are closed and Britons are legally required to stay at home. 

Advertisement

– April 5: Boris Johnson is admitted to hospital with Covid. He later spends days in intensive care before recovering and leaving hospital on April 12.

– May 15: Cheese and wine in the No 10 garden. A photograph emerged of a number of groups gathered in the No 10 garden, including Mr Johnson, Carrie Johnson, and aides Dom Cummings and Martin Reynolds sitting together on the terrace. Not investigated by police.

– May 20: Bring Your Own Booze party. A leaked email shows No 10 staff were invited to an event in the Downing Street garden. Mr Johnson has admitted he was there for 25 minutes, but said he thought it was a ‘work event’.

June 1: First lockdown begins to ease. Public permitted to meet outside in groups of up to six people. Meeting indoors is still banned.  

Advertisement

– June 18 2020: Cabinet Office leaving do. Sue Gray’s interim report said a gathering in the 70 Whitehall building was held to mark the departure of a No 10 private secretary. The Telegraph said 20 people attended, with alcohol consumed.

– June 19 2020: Boris Johnson’s 56th birthday. He, his wife Carrie and Rishi Sunak were all fined for attending surprise get-together in Cabinet Room.

– September 14: Rising cases led to the re-introduction of ‘rule of six’ indoors and outdoors. By the end of the month, the work from home begins again and a 10pm curfew came into force for pubs, bars and restaurants

– November 5: Second national lockdown begins. Non-essential businesses close and people banned from meeting indoors with anyone not in their ‘support bubble’ 

Advertisement

– November 13: Downing Street flat do. Mrs Johnson reportedly hosted parties in the official flat over No 11 where she and Mr Johnson live, including one event on November 13, the night of Dominic Cummings’ acrimonious departure. A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s wife called the claim ‘total nonsense’.

– November 13: As shown in pictures released today Mr Johnson attended event for Lee Cain, his departing director of communications and a close ally of Dom Cummings.

– November 27 2020: Another special adviser leaves. Mr Johnson reportedly gave a leaving speech at a gathering for Cleo Watson, another ally of Mr Cummings. Not investigated by police.

– December 10 2020: Department for Education Christmas drinks. Then education secretary Gavin Williamson reportedly threw a party and delivered a short speech. Not investigated by police. 

Advertisement

– December 15 2020: An online Christmas quiz in No 10. The Prime Minister appeared on contestants’ screens at the quiz but insisted he broke no rules. Not investigated by police.

– December 17: Cabinet Office ‘Christmas party’.  It was reported the do had been organised by a private secretary in Cabinet Secretary Simon Case’s team, and that it was included in digital calendars as: ‘Christmas party!’ and included an online quiz.

– December 17: Leaving drinks for former Covid Taskforce head Kate Josephs in the Cabinet Office. She later apologised.

– December 17: No 10 leaving do attended by PM, reported to be for Captain Steve Higham, then one of Mr Johnson’s private secretaries 

Advertisement

– December 18: Downing Street Christmas party, featuring speeches, a cheese board, drinks and a Secret Santa gifts.

2021 

– January 4: Third lockdown begins following a rapid rise in Covid cases

– January 14: More Downing Street leaving drinks to mark the departure of two private secretaries. The other official’s identity is so far unknown.

Advertisement

– April 16: Leaving drinks on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. Downing Street apologised to Buckingham Palace after reported details emerged of boozy drinks parties, including one for outgoing communications director James Slack.

November 30: First report of potentially illegal gatherings within Downing Street emerge.

December 7:  Mr Johnson says: ‘I am satisfied myself that the guidelines were followed at all times.’  

December 7: ‘Footage emerged showing press secretary Allegra Stratton joking about the alleged party in 2020 leaked to ITV News. She later resigns.

Advertisement

December 8: Scotland Yard refuses to investigate, citing an ‘absence’ of evidence

2022

January 25: After weeks of further revelations, Scotland Yard launches Operation Hillman, an investigation into allegations of Partygate lawbreaking

January 31: Sue Gray releases her interim report into Partygate 

Advertisement

February 4: Five No10 aides resign over their role in Partgate, including Dan Rosenfield and comms chief Jack Doyle

March 29: Detectives issue the first 20 fixed penalty notices to people working in No10 for breaches of Covid laws.

April 12: A further 30 fines are issued, including to Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak. 

May 12: Scotland Yard revealed it has issued more than 100 fines.

Advertisement

May 19: Scotland Yard reveals it has completed Operation Hillman, issuing 126 fines to 83 people in total.

May 25: Ms Gray’s report was finally delivered to the PM and published.

Advertisement
Advertisement