Just a few dozen feet away, in a separate room, a group of officials working for Mr. Case also attended an event at his private office where attendees bought alcohol and snacks.
The following evening, December 18, dozens of officials and aides hosted an alleged Christmas party at No. 10, during which Communications Director Boris Johnson delivered a speech of thanks and presented awards.
When the rally on Downing Street began, Ms. Josephs marked her last day in government by posing for a photo (see main picture) in front of the front door of Number 10.
In a message posted on her social media, she wrote: “Today, on the last day, it is extremely difficult to leave the amazing colleagues who make up the working group for covid, it was an honor and a privilege to serve with them.”
Ms. Josephs, who now serves as Sheffield City Council’s chief executive, declined to comment when approached by The Telegraph.
Although she declined to say whether she believed the event violated Covid-19 rules, Ms. Josephs confirmed she was “fully cooperating” with the cabinet investigation. The cabinet declined to comment.
More meetings in no. 10
Founded in the spring of 2020, the task force’s tasks include providing support and advice to the Prime Minister, including the latest information on Covid-19, and working with departments across the government on the UK’s overall strategy.
Ms. Josephs was appointed Director-General in July 2020, having previously been Director of the Education and Skills Financing Agency.
It is understood that she reported directly to Mr Case until 2020, when James Bowler, a senior civil servant, was appointed to lead the working group as the second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet.
The choir is now being investigated by Ms. Gray on December 17, and the total number of alleged gatherings now under scrutiny is expected to be at least nine.
They range from November 2020 to April 2021, including several meetings at No. 10 and Downing Street Garden; two cabinet events; and one at the Ministry of Education.
A former director general of the Cabinet’s Appropriateness and Ethics Service, Ms. Gray, was asked to take over the probe just before Christmas.
The change of leadership came after Mr Case was forced to resign after it turned out that his own office had organized a meeting on 17 December.
The party, organized by a private secretary on Mr Case’s team, took place outside his personal office. It started at 5.30pm and was listed in the digital calendar invitations as “Christmas party!”
Due to the revelation and the emergence of new meetings, the investigation has been postponed until Christmas, and Whitehall sources are now hinting that Mrs Gray’s report will not be ready until “the end of next week” at the latest.
However, it seems that the investigation team has been interviewing people all this week, as the appearance of two new parties on April 16 is likely to cause further delays.
It was reported yesterday that Ms Gray had not yet found sufficient evidence of the crime to bring the matter to the police, with Scotland Yard also stating that she would not launch her own investigation unless she did so.