Boris Johnson dodges question over new party claim

Last week Mr Johnson’s former senior adviser Dominic Cummings claimed in a blogpost that an investigation into a series of alleged Downing Street parties being conducted by senior civil servant Sue Gray should be broadened to include ‘Socially Distanced Drinks’ on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

The allegation comes on top of claims Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie attended a “cheese and wine gathering” along with senior aides in the garden of No10 five days earlier.

At the time strict lockdown rules were still in place with gatherings limited to two people, who could only meet outdoors and at a distance of at least two metres.

Asked on Monday if he and Mrs Johnson had attended the May 20 event, Mr Johnson told broadcasters: “All that, as you know, is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray.”

Pressed on whether he had been interviewed by Ms Gray, he said: “All that is a subject for investigation by Sue Gray.”

It is understood Ms Gray is now looking into the event on May 20, which Mr Cummings claims he warned senior colleagues about at the time.

Later on Monday the Prime Minister’s spokesman also failed to clear up whether Mr Johnson had been present at the May 20 gathering. “As I have made clear before there is an independent process going on to look into this led by Sue Gray and I can’t comment further while that is taking place,” the spokesman said.

Quizzed on why Mr Johnson was not able to simply confirm whether he had attended or not, his spokesman added: “He, like me, is making clear it’s right to allow this independent process to take place before commenting further.”

The Sunday Times cited three sources stating Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, had emailed officials with an invite to the May 20 gathering, which included a message to “BYOB”, believed to be a reference to bring your own bottle.


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