Boris Johnson attended Downing Street lockdown party in May 2020, reports say

Boris Johnson Attended Downing Street Lockdown Party In May 2020, Reports Say Boris Johnson Attended Downing Street Lockdown Party In May 2020, Reports Say
Newspapers allege Boris Johnson joined staff at a party in Downing Street in May 2020. Photo: PA
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By Amy Gibbons, PA Political Correspondent

It has been alleged that the British prime minister attended a party with staff during Britain's first national lockdown in May last year.

The Guardian and The Independent reported that Boris Johnson was present for 15 minutes at the gathering said to have taken place on May 15th, 2020, following a Covid press conference.

The newspapers said the alleged event was held on the same day that Matt Hancock, then England's health minister, urged people to “please stick with the rules”.

At the time the party is said to have taken place, people were only permitted to meet one other person from outside their household in an outdoor, public place, and were told to keep two metres apart.

According to the reports, sources claimed that roughly 20 staff attended, drinking alcohol and eating pizza.


Some were said to have gathered in offices inside No 10 Downing Street and others in the garden. It is alleged that drinking went on late into the evening.

Mr Johnson reportedly told one attendee that they deserved a drink for “beating back” the virus.

The papers said that, when asked about Mr Johnson’s “beating back” comment and his presence at the alleged party where staff were said to be drinking and socialising, a British government spokesperson told them: “In the summer months Downing Street staff regularly use the garden for some meetings.

“On May 15 2020 the Prime Minister held a series of meetings throughout the afternoon, including briefly with the then-Health and Care Secretary and his team in the garden following a press conference.

“The Prime Minister went to his residence shortly after 7pm. A small number of staff required to be in work remained in the Downing Street garden for part of the afternoon and evening.”

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