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Downing Street denies claim PM knew about lockdown drinks party

Downing Street has dismissed claims by Dominic Cummings on Monday January 17 that Boris Johnson was told in advance that staff were hosting a drinks party in Garden No 10 during the first Covid lockdown.

The PM’s former chief adviser said he was ready to ‘swear under oath’ that Mr Johnson was lying when he told MPs he was unaware of the event ‘bring your own bottle” on May 20, 2020, reports The Mirror.

It would mean the Prime Minister lied to the Commons when he claimed he thought it was a business event.

Cummings claims he told Boris Johnson ‘you need to enter this madhouse’ after the invitation was sent asking around 100 staff to attend the BYOB party at No 10.

He says at least two senior officials have told Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, to cancel the garden party on May 20, 2020.

Mr Reynolds would then have checked with the Prime Minister if the event could take place, and he would have been told that it was possible.

In his latest blog, Mr Cummings wrote: “I said to the Prime Minister something like: Martin invited the building for a drink, that’s what I’m talking about, you have to enter this madhouse. The prime minister dismissed him.

He said it was ‘not credible’ that Mr Reynolds told senior officials he would check with the Prime Minister and did not.

Mr Cummings said: ‘The events of May 20 alone, let alone the series of other events, means the Prime Minister has lied to Parliament about parties. Not only me, but other eyewitnesses who discussed it at the time would swear under oath that this is what happened.

Mr Johnson attended the party he is understood to be with his wife Carrie. He sparked widespread disbelief last week at LF when he claimed he “implicitly believed” it was work-related.

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