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Sue Gray’s scathing report into lockdown parties today declared Boris Johnson must “bear responsibility” over brazen No10 bashes – at least five of which he attended.

A long-awaited inquiry – packed with private WhatsApp messages and nine photos – ruled junior officials felt “permitted” to attend rule-breaking events that “should not have been allowed to happen” because “senior leaders” took part.

After claims No10 security were mocked for questioning the bashes, Whitehall investigator Ms Gray added: “I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly.

“I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable.”

The report is stuffed with evidence showing events were brazen and planned by staff, apparently in the full knowledge of how they would look to the law-abiding public.

It found “one individual was sick” and there was a “minor altercation between two other individuals” at a karaoke leaving do on 18 June 2020 for No10 official Hannah Young.

Red wine was spilt on the wall after an 18 December 2020 Christmas quiz first revealed by the Mirror. The PM personally brought the cheese and wine from his flat for the May 20 ‘BYOB’ bash. And staff stayed at a riotous party until 4.20am on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral.

Director of communications aide Lee Cain attended an event despite branding it a PR risk, while principle private secretary Martin Reynolds boasted: “We seem to have got away with… our drinks”.

The nine photos published in the report are from two dates. They show the 19 June 2020 birthday party, where top civil servant Simon Case is laughing and Boris Johnson is holding a can of Estrella.

They also show him raising fizz at aide Lee Cain’s leaving do on 13 November 2020 – the date he explicitly said no party took place, leading to claims he lied to Parliament.

The e-mail inviting people the 20 May 2020 ‘bring your own booze’ garden party at No10 went to 200 staff – not 100 as previously reported.

And a No10 special advisor messaged top aide Martin Reynolds beforehand saying: “Just to flag that the press conference will probably be finishing around that time.

“So helpful if people can be mindful of that as speakers and cameras are leaving, not walking around waving bottles of wine etc.”

Then-No10 communications director Lee Cain emailed Mr Reynolds saying “I’m sure it will be fine – and I applaud the gesture” despite the fact “a 200 odd person invitation for drinks in the garden of no 10 is somewhat of a comms risk in the current environment.”

On another date Mr Reynolds – who’s already been ousted from No10 – emailed an advisor saying: “A complete non story but better than them focusing on our drinks (which we seem to have got away with)”.

The report finds Mr Reynolds – nicknamed ‘Party Marty’ and since lined up as Ambassador to dry Saudi Arabia – also invited staff to the PM’s birthday party on 19 June 2020. He wrote: “We are having sandwiches and cake in the Cabinet room so do come along and wish the PM happy birthday.”

One of the nine photos published in the report of the 19 June 2020 birthday party, showing Boris Johnson and Simon Case with the PM holding a can of Estrella

Ms Gray wrote: “The events that I investigated were attended by leaders in government.

“Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen. It is also the case that some of the more junior civil servants believed that their involvement in some of these events was permitted given the attendance of senior leaders.

“The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture.”

Ms Gray also confirmed a “meeting” – with food and alcohol – was held in the Downing Street flat on 13 November 2020 to discuss two aides’ departure.

But Ms Gray discontinued her probe into a 13 November 2020 event in the No10 flat – at which allies of Carrie Johnson were said to have blasted Abba tunes.

After Scotland Yard didn’t issue a fine, Ms Gray wrote: “I have taken the view that it would not be necessary, appropriate or proportionate to undertake any further investigation work following the conclusion of the work of the Metropolitan Police.

“Following the Metropolitan Police announcement on 19 May 2022 I considered whether or not to conduct any further investigation into this event but concluded it was not appropriate or proportionate to do so.”

Boris Johnson was expected to give a statement to Parliament after PMQs at noon, followed by a press conference to the nation, and a speech to Tory backbench MPs.

The report contains damning evidence about Martin Reynolds, nicknamed Party Marty ( James Veysey/REX/Shutterstock)

Sources suggested the PM would apologise to the Commons for his single fine – received for his lockdown birthday party on 19 June 2020. But he would repeat his claim that he didn’t know he was breaking the rules at the time – so didn’t lie to Parliament.

Dozens of Tories have already called for him to quit, amid fevered speculation they could hit the 54 no-confidence letters needed to trigger a bid to topple the Prime Minister.

Senior Tory Tom Tugendhat said he was “talking to colleagues” about whether the PM should quit, adding: “Frankly, it’s very difficult to have confidence in the government right now.”

Two parties took place on 16 April 2021, the day before Prince Philip’s funeral.

Around 15-20 people gathered in the basement of No10, where music was played on a laptop on top of a printer – and “a number of those present drank excessively.”

The two parties eventually joined together in the No10 garden, where a child’s swing and slide was damaged by people “leaning on and playing with it”.

No10 entry logs showed some people left between 1.45 and 2.45am – but others stayed later, with the latest leaving at 4.20am – just hours before the funeral.

The image of The Queen sitting alone at Philip’s funeral resonated with many ( Jonathan Brady/Pool/AFP/Getty)

The report also confirms the Mirror’s stories about the No10 Christmas Quiz on December 15 2020 – which police did not fine anyone over.

Downing Street had claimed it was a “virtual” event but the report found “at least 18 members of No 10 staff joined from a large room in 70 Whitehall.”

The report added: “Food and alcohol was available during the quiz which was purchased by individuals on behalf of their teams. Some teams in the office gathered close around laptop screens.”

Later, as first revealed by the Mirror, a senior official sent a message warning staff to take a back exit out of Downing Street. The report said: “A No 10 official sent a message on internal No 10 systems referring to “drunkenness” and advising staff to leave No 10 via the back exit.”

“The No10 official informed the investigation team that they did this in order to avoid staff being photographed by the press outside.”

Invitations were sent out to a “virtual Christmas party” in the Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall on Thursday 17 December 2020, which involved a game of Articulate and a Secret Santa.

A virtual quiz took place in the outer office of Cabinet Secretary Simon Case’s room. Mr Case was not present for the games, but around five people were there in person, and wine and food was available.

There was some “informal chat” after the games finished at 7pm, and Mr Case later chatted for about 15 minutes with staff who were finishing drinks and snacks.

The 37-page report comes after a four-month investigation by Ms Gray into 16 gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall – first exposed by the Mirror’s Pippa Crerar.

Downing Street investigator Sue Gray was tasked to look into 16 gatherings in Westminster ( Marcin Nowak/LNP)

The senior civil servant’s interim report in January slammed “failures of leadership and judgement” in 10 Downing Street.

But it was shorn of names and key details after Scotland Yard launched a lengthy probe that led to 126 fines for 83 people – but only one fine for Boris Johnson.

Downing Street staff reacted with outrage after the PM was pictured raising a glass of fizz at a leaving do on 13 November 2020 that led to other fines, but the PM did not even receive a questionnaire in relation to the event.

Mr Johnson is also being investigated by the Commons Privileges Committee over whether he lied to Parliament – after he explicitly denied there was a No10 party on November 13.

Discussions are underway at Downing Street over the PM strengthening the ministerial code to boost the powers on his ethics advisor.

Downing Street staff reacted with outrage after the PM was pictured raising a glass of fizz at a leaving do he denied happened – but didn’t get fined ( ITV News)

Lord Geidt has previously indicated he wants the power to independently launch investigations into potential rule breaches by ministers.

Ms Gray wrote today: “I am reassured to see that steps have since been taken to introduce more easily accessible means by which to raise concerns electronically, in person or online, including directly with the Permanent Secretary in No 10.

“I hope that this will truly embed a culture that welcomes and creates opportunities for challenge and speaking up at all levels.”

No 10 is also said to be debating whether to push a cost of living plan, pencilled in for Thursday, to next week so it doesn’t get lost in the Partygate fall-out.

Originally a £10bn package had only been due after the Queen’s Speech but those plans were torn up after Ofgem said energy bills were set to rise to £2,800 a year.

One senior Tory also suggested the PM would need to “change the subject” from Partygate.

Ms Gray investigated events on 12 dates, including some that were not included in Scotland Yard’s inquiry (*).

  • 15 May 2020 – a gathering in the Downing Street garden where staff were pictured with cheese and wine *
  • 20 May 2020 – a BYOB bash in the Downing Street garden
  • 18 June 2020 – a karaoke leaving do in the Cabinet Office to mark the departure of No10 official Hannah Young
  • 19 June 2020 – a surprise birthday event for Boris Johnson in the Cabinet room in No10
  • 13 November 2020 – ‘Abba party’ in the PM’s No11 flat. Also a leaving do for No10 comms chief Lee Cain
  • 27 November 2020 – a leaving do in Downing Street for special adviser Cleo Watson *
  • 10 December 2020 – a gathering in the Department for Education ahead of the Christmas holiday *
  • 15 December 2020 – a No10 online Christmas quiz *
  • 17 December 2020 – an online Christmas quiz for the Cabinet Secretary’s private office. Also a leaving do in the Cabinet Office for Kate Josephs, a former director general of the Covid taskforce. Also a No10 leaving do for defence aide Captain Steve Higham
  • 18 December 2020 – No10 Christmas party
  • 14 January 2021 – a Prosecco-fueled leaving do two No10 private secretaries
  • 16 April 2021 – Two leaving dos for No10 comms chief James Slack and a photographer in No10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral

It comes after bombshell claims that Boris Johnson suggested Sue Gray could just drop her Partygate report in a secretive meeting.

The Prime Minister – who is the Whitehall investigator’s boss – met her this month after No10 officials said talks “may be something that she might want to consider.”

No10 have refused to release any minutes. But it’s now emerged Boris Johnson asked if there was “much point” in publishing her final verdict on lockdown parties after a police probe, the Times and Sky News reported.

The suggestion Boris Johnson tried to meddle with the inquiry piles fresh pressure after he was accused of lying to Parliament – due to photos of him raising a glass at a 13 November 2020 party he explicitly denied happened.

Cabinet ally Grant Shapps claimed the Prime Minister was “clearly not” partying at the leaving do for aide Lee Cain, telling Sky News: “He’d gone by to say thanks and raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving”.

Mr Shapps also bizarrely excused the PM’s behaviour because he “lost his mum during the period” – despite the fact Charlotte Johnson Wahl died 10 months after the photos were taken.

Sources later stressed he was talking about the Covid pandemic period as a whole, not the period in which No10 parties were taking place.

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