Nobody warned me drinks event was against rules - Boris Johnson

Dominic Cummings - who claims PM lied about lockdown parties - is set to speak to Sue Gray's inquiry.

Newsnight

1/19/2022 2:10:00 AM

'The prime minister is in a difficult position because of his behaviour... and Conservative MPs are increasingly uncomfortable.' Former cabinet minister DavidGauke says the PM's interview today has made things 'significantly worse' Newsnight

Dominic Cummings - who claims PM lied about lockdown parties - is set to speak to Sue Gray's inquiry.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said the prime minister was "just making it worse for himself" with his "empty excuses" and "transparent lies".Timeline: The alleged government gatheringsLegal restrictions at the time said you could not leave your house without a reasonable excuse and government guidance was that you could meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor setting while exercising.

About 100 people were invited by email to “socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden” on behalf of the prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds.Boris Johnson announced plans for a “significant return to normality" in England by Christmas "through targeted, local action” instead of national lockdowns.

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Politics Hub brings you the latest political news, insight and analysis from the Sky News team in Westminster. Boris Johnson is waiting for the publication of the Sue Gray report after the police investigation into partygate concluded. Read more >>

DavidGauke DavidGauke This begs the question just how much lying, rule-breaking, incompetence, lack of leadership, and corruption on the part of any Tory Prime Minister is the average Tory MP willing to turn a blind eye to?! DavidGauke today showed the utter contempt Boris has for the parties and the people of the UK, in how he responds to serious questions

DavidGauke How much, 'Worse' can 'Deplorable' be? 'Let the bodies pile high' Cackastechi on leg's, a trillion time's more obnoxious than 'worse'. DavidGauke Hoping it's the last time we see Boris Johnson at PMQs today Sick of all his lies and refusal to answer questions ! Carrie Johnson hoping this isn't and must have fingers and toes firmly crossed! All she ever wanted was to be First Lady !

DavidGauke Not uncomfortable enough to come out in public and condemn his previous lies though DavidGauke The higher BorisJohnson climbs this rickety ladder the more we will see of his arse and the more spectacular will be his fall. Those who, knowing what he is, materially supported him will not be forgiven. Conservatives restore your credibility Johnson is my MP JohnsonOutNow

DavidGauke DavidGauke DavidGauke Plus, Boris Johnson was key player in the colossal Brexit scam. Europeankelly DavidGauke Why aren’t Tory MPs are not up in arms calling out the lies and corruption!! I’m not interested to read that they are feeling “uncomfortable “! What does that mean? The Tories are destroying our country and each Tory MP is guilty unless they call out the crimes against society

Boris Johnson says ‘nobody told me’ No 10 party was not a ‘work event’BREAKING: Boris Johnson has again insisted he believed a gathering in No 10’s garden during the first lockdown was a ‘work event’. Then why was alcohol involved you don't drink and drive so how are these people allowed to'work' and drink. My works events are restricted to 'teams' as per government advice Does any 1 believe what he says 🙈🙈🙈

DavidGauke stupid woman, does she realise, that Blowjo🤡 is supposed to represent the country, not just the Conservative Party and their up followers. Time they where all gone, they have all been laughing at those of us who have lost family members to Covid due to Conservative incompetence. DavidGauke I thought it was incredible Lord Marland described No10 as oppressive, given the amount of money spent on the place, how could it be described as oppressive?

Boris Johnson says 'nobody told me' No 10 lockdown garden party was against the rulesBoris Johnson has said 'nobody told me' the Number 10 garden party during lockdown was 'against the rules'. Does he think we live in cuckooland‽ No one told him, he knew what the rules were

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Boris Johnson party news live: Sunak says 'of course' he believes PM - as Raab interview slip gets tractionPartygate latest as Boris Johnson 'deeply sorry' for misjudgements but says 'nobody told me' 20 May 2020 event was against rules; Dominic Cummings says PM 'lied to parliament' on this; second source backs up former aide's claim; Dominic Raab slips up by calling event 'party' in interview. I really appreciate all your efforts with the little Startup of $5,250 with all joy over me after withdrawing $10,000 with the help of Arlene_riggio BethRigby Liar 'I made the rules, but I don't understand the rules.'

Boris Johnson: 'Pork pie plot' to oust PM gathers pace as loyalists launch 'Operation Red Meat' in bid to save himA mutiny led by 'red wall' Tory MPs elected in 2019 is said to be close to reaching the numbers required to trigger a leadership contest, sparking fury among Johnson loyalists. He's a mini Trump , he wasn't even born in the UK. Was born in New York USA JohnsonOut I’m launching ‘Operation Oink Oink’ targeting the entire party - a total clear out I don't think he's particularly saveable but I've never liked him so I'm a bit biased

Alleged government lockdown gatherings Responding to his latest statement, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said: "Boris Johnson clearly knows it's the end of the road. "He's the prime minister, he set the rules, he didn't need anyone to tell him that the party he attended broke them. "If he had any respect for the British public, he would do the decent thing and resign." Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said the prime minister was "just making it worse for himself" with his "empty excuses" and "transparent lies". The SNP's deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald said it was "clear the prime minister was not being frank" about events in the Downing Street garden. Cabinet minister have rallied round the prime minister, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak saying "of course" he believed Mr Johnson's version of events. Deputy PM Dominic Raab said prime ministers would normally be expected to resign if they had been found to have misled MPs, but he believed Mr Johnson would remain in power for "many years". Timeline: The alleged government gatherings The government is facing mounting pressure over several events that are alleged to have been held during lockdowns. Here is what we know about them and the restrictions in place at the time: 10 May 2020 Boris Johnson announced a plan to take the “first careful steps" out of the lockdown that began in March 2020. But he said people should continue to "obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them”. Legal restrictions at the time said you could not leave your house without a reasonable excuse and government guidance was that you could meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor setting while exercising. 15 May 2020 A photo from May 2020 showed the prime minister and his staff with bottles of wine and a cheeseboard in the Downing Street garden. When asked about it, Boris Johnson said, “those people were at work talking about work”. 20 May 2020 About 100 people were invited by email to “socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden” on behalf of the prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds. Witnesses told the BBC the PM and his wife were among about 30 people who attended. Boris Johnson has confirmed he attended the event, saying he was there for 25 minutes and “believed implicitly that this was a work event”. 17 July 2020 Boris Johnson announced plans for a “significant return to normality" in England by Christmas "through targeted, local action” instead of national lockdowns. But he added that the timetable relied on “every one of us staying alert and acting responsibly”. 5 November 2020 With cases of coronavirus rising again, the prime minister told people in England that “we are once again asking you to stay at home” as a new national lockdown began. He said people should only leave their homes “for work if you can’t work from home, for education, and for essential activities and emergencies”. Indoor gatherings with other households were banned, unless they were for work purposes. 13 November 2020 Sources told the BBC that Downing Street staff members attended a gathering with Carrie Johnson in the flat where she and the prime minister live. A spokesman for Mrs Johnson denies the party took place. 27 November 2020 A leaving event was held for No 10 aide, Cleo Watson, where people were drinking, and Mr Johnson made a speech, according to sources. 2 December 2020 The second national lockdown ended after four weeks but Boris Johnson replaced those restrictions with “tough tiers to keep this virus down”. London was placed in tier two, which banned two or more people from different households from meeting indoors, unless “reasonably necessary” for work purposes. 10 December 2020 The Department for Education has confirmed it had an office gathering to thank staff for their work during the pandemic. It says drinks and snacks were brought by those who attended and no outside guests or support staff were invited. 14 December 2020 The Conservative Party has admitted that an “unauthorised gathering” took place at its HQ in Westminster. It was held by the team of the party's London-mayoral candidate, Shaun Bailey, who has since stepped down as chair of the London Assembly police and crime committee. The Metropolitan Police is to speak to two people who attended the party. Image caption The gathering at the Conservative Party headquarters was described as ‘raucous’ Image copyright by Daily Mirror 15 December 2020 Multiple sources have told the BBC there was a Christmas quiz for No 10 staff last year. A photo - published by the Sunday Mirror - showed Boris Johnson taking part and sitting between two colleagues in No 10. Mr Johnson has denied any wrongdoing. Image caption Mr Johnson was pictured in the No 10 library under a portrait of Margaret Thatcher Image copyright by Sunday Mirror 16 December 2020 London moved into the highest tier of restrictions and Matt Hancock, who was health secretary at the time, said it was important “everyone is cautious” ahead of the festive period. The Department for Transport apologised after confirming reports of a party in its offices that day, calling it “inappropriate" and an "error of judgment” by staff. 17 December 2020 A leaving party was held at the Cabinet Office for the outgoing head of the civil service Covid taskforce - the team responsible for drawing up coronavirus restrictions. Kate Josephs, now chief executive of Sheffield City Council, apologised for the event, saying she was “truly sorry that I did this and for the anger that people will feel as a result”. 18 December 2020 Downing Street originally denied a report by the Daily Mirror that a party took place in Downing Street. However, a video obtained by ITV News showed the prime minister's then-press secretary Allegra Stratton, joking about reports of an event, saying: “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.” 12 April 2021 Lockdown restrictions were eased in England, with pubs and restaurants allowed to reopen with outdoor service only. However, working from home continued to be recommended and socialising indoors with people from other households was not allowed. Meeting others outdoors was limited to groups of six people or two households. 16 April 2021 Two parties were held by Downing Street staff at No 10, the night before Prince Philip's funeral. One of the events was a leaving party for the PM's then director of communications James Slack, who has apologised for the event and acknowledged it “should not have happened at the time that it did”. Boris Johnson was not at either party. Show more