Sources said Friday social gatherings occasionally continued until midnight, when up to two dozen assistants drank wine and beer and played games like Pictionary
The prime minister is fighting for his political life after a wave of outrage over recent revelations about parties on Downing Street when the country lived under Covid’s restrictions.
An e-mail from the Prime Minister’s Chief Private Secretary, published by him, was leaked ITV on Monday she revealed that staff no. 10 invited to “make the most of the beautiful weather “with a garden party on May 20, 2020.
Boris Johnson apologized this week for the garden party at the closing of Downing Street – and finally admitted to attending the event.
The prime minister told lawmakers he “went out for 25 minutes” to thank the staff, but admitted he should have “sent them back inside lately.”
The Mirror has since exclusively revealed that staff on Downing Street organized ‘wine Fridays’ throughout the pandemic. Mr. Johnson they attend meetings regularly.
Sources say the prime minister encouraged aides to “let off steam” despite indoor gatherings being banned. constipation rules.
Here’s a look at everything we’ve had so far about the latest scandal that threatens to finally release Johnson.
POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
What were Fridays at the time of wine?
Downing Street staff held ‘wine Fridays’ throughout the pandemic Boris Johnson they attend meetings regularly.
Sources told the Mirror that the prime minister encouraged aides to “let off steam”, despite the fact that socializing indoors is prohibited. constipation rules.
The regular event was so popular that staff even invested £ 142 in a drink fridge to keep their bottles of white wine, prosecco and beer.
Sources said meetings occasionally continued late into the night with up to two dozen assistants drinking wine and beer and playing games like Pictionary.
They were especially popular from the fall of 2020 to the spring of 2021, when staff were “tired” due to Covid’s strict restrictions, sources said.
However, their popularity waned as the country began to open up and staff no longer had to rely on them for social interaction.
When did they happen during the pandemic?
Sources claimed that assistants exchanged and visited the local Tesco Metro in Westminster on Friday with a suitcase on wheels to fill the fridge with 34 bottles.
An outstanding picture of the refrigerator delivered through the back door of Downing Street on December 11, 2020 has emerged.
The rules at the time forbade two or more people from different households to meet indoors unless “reasonably necessary” for business purposes.
In the electronic calendars of about 50 staff no. 10 ‘Wine Fridays’ were scheduled each week between 4pm and 7pm.
Two departures took place on Downing Street on April 16 – one for top-notch spin doctor Mr. Johnson James Slack and the other for the prime minister’s photographer.
It was only a few hours before the Queen mourned alone in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The humiliating apology of Downing Street to Buckingham Palace comes after two departures the night before Prince Philip’s funeral last spring.
The staff drank alcohol, and the merry danced to the music booming from the laptop, and someone was sent to a local store to fill a suitcase with wine.
The party, which began indoors, became so tumultuous in the garden that one of the guests tackled – and broke – the swing of the Prime Minister’s son Wilf, reports the Telegraph.
Government instructions at the time warned: “You should not socialize indoors except in the household or in a support bubble.
“You can meet outdoors, even in gardens, in groups of six or two households.”
It has also been reported that the Prime Minister had a “shambolic” speech for outgoing Communications Director Lee Cain, with the couple posing with “Get Brexit Finished ”boxing gloves.
At the time, England was at the height of its second national prison, as for social reasons, mixing between indoor households was not allowed.
Who was involved?
It was organized by the press service no. 10, but occasionally consultants from other parts of the building also joined.
Sources said that one of the regular participants when strict mixing rules applied was Captain Steve Higham, then the prime minister’s adviser on defense.
The Royal Navy officer now commands the new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, the UK’s largest warship.
The Department of Defense declined to comment.
The prime minister is expected to attend a “handful” of meetings in places where indoor gatherings have been banned under prison rules.
These include the event on November 13, 2020, on Dominic Cummings left no. 10 when he stayed for a glass of wine and chatted with the team.
No. 10 insiders claimed the prime minister often witnessed “Fridays during wine time” on his way to an apartment on Downing Street.
One source said: “Boris sometimes stopped to chat while they were drinking. It was on the way to his apartment and the door was usually open. He knew about it and encouraged it. “
Another added, “When he stepped up, he saw everyone sitting there drinking.
“He came in and said,‘ Hello, have you all had a busy week? Let go of some money? Oh great.
“The idea that he didn’t know there were drinks is complete nonsense. If the prime minister tells you to “let off steam,” he’s basically saying that’s okay. “
What does the Government say?
Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace after it was revealed that the day before at No. 10 more parties organized Prince Philip funeral last spring.
But that was before the Wine Time Fridays story erupted and Mr Johnson is currently clinging to the upcoming outcome of an investigation conducted by Sue Gray into a partygate to get him out of the current mess.
Spokesman no. 10 said before: “An investigation is underway to establish the facts about the nature of the meetings, including attendance, set-up and purpose in terms of compliance with the guidelines at the time. The findings will be published in due course. “