Boris Johnson faces a perilous day tomorrow, when the Sue Gray report is expected to be published (Picture: PA)
Another new photo of a Downing Street party has emerged, ahead of the long-awaited publication of the Sue Gray report, which could end Boris Johnson’s premiership.
The picture, allegedly of an event on November 17, 2020, shows a man standing at a table laden with nine bottles of fizz and wine, Krispy Kreme donuts and cake. A ‘wine fridge’ used in Downing Street can also be seen.
Messages appear to suggest staff planned the event and discussed buying ‘reinforcement booze’, according to The Daily Mirror.
It comes after images were published by ITV showing Boris Johnson drinking alcohol and toasting staff four days earlier – and also during England’s second national lockdown.
Elsewhere, reports suggested Number 10 staff pulled all nighters and left ‘chaos’ after events in Downing Street.
Now revelations about yet another event – apparently attended by some 30 to 40 people to mark top aide James Slack’s final press briefing – have emerged.
The gathering was not investigated by either the Metropolitan Police or Sue Gray.
Both Mr Slack and Downing Street have previously apologised after it was reported that two gatherings – including a leaving do for Mr Slack – took place inside No 10 on April 16 2021, the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
The event in question was to mark James Slack’s last (Picture: PA)
The Mirror said the new image from a separate event was shared on a Whatsapp group by a senior aide who wrote: ‘Time to open the Covid secure bar’.
Minutes after the picture was posted on the group, a new message read: ‘The bar is open’, the paper reported, adding that the Whatsapp conversations suggest the event was planned in advance.
One message reportedly read ‘Wine Time Tuesday’, in reference to regular ‘Wine Time Fridays’ held during lockdown in Downing Street.
Downing Street staff are also said to have discussed buying ‘reinforcement booze’ and getting ‘help’ to carry it all.
Tomorrow, the senior civil servant Ms Gray is widely expected to publish her long-awaited report into the partygate saga.
A No 10 spokesperson said: ‘As part of their investigation the Cabinet Office team were able to speak to No 10 staff to establish the facts on what happened during this period. Both they 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 shortly, at which point the Prime Minister will address Parliament in full.’
Earlier today, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has said it is ‘very difficult to have any confidence in the Government’ in light of the latest reports into the Downing Street parties.
Asked if the UK has a serious Government, Mr Tugendhat told LBC: ‘Well, that’s exactly the point I’m making.
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‘There is a real problem if you are not serious, if you do not look like you’re serious, if you do not behave as though, frankly, the occupation of governing the United Kingdom is possibly the most serious you’ll ever have, then it does raise questions of competence.’
Questioned if he has confidence in Mr Johnson, he said: ‘It’s very difficult to have any confidence in the Government.
‘But you know, I’ll leave it there. I mean, frankly, it’s very difficult to have confidence in the Government right now.’
Mr Johnson is scheduled to address the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories on Wednesday, amid renewed whispers in Westminster that the threshold of no confidence letters could be reached to force a vote on his leadership.
The PM is also expected to address the Commons and a Downing Street press conference after the Gray report is published.
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