BORIS Johnson is pictured raising a beer at his lockdown-breaking birthday party, in stark new snaps revealed today.
The true extent of raucous bashes in No10 and Whitehall during the pandemic has been laid bare as Sue Gray’s report was finally published.
The damning snaps were revealed as Sue Gray’s bombshell report was finally released[/caption]
The embattled PM raised a hand to the press as he left Downing Street this morning[/caption]
He said today: ‘I am humbled and I have learned a lesson’[/caption]
Several new photos have been shared in the 37-page bombshell document, which also tells of drunken vomiting in offices and boozy karaoke parties at a time when Brits buried loved ones.
New pictures show the PM toasting colleagues with a can of Estrella beer on his birthday in June 2020 as Rishi Sunak stands beside him.
Sandwiches from Tesco can be seen on the desk alongside a whiskey tumbler filled with amber liquid, likely to be juice from a jug.
Top senior civil servant Simon Case can be seen laughing in the images, which document the only event Mr Johnson has been fined for.
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Today, Boris issued a grovelling apology and admitted “full responsibility for everything that happened on my watch.”
But he also vowed it was time to “move on” as he defiantly fought off calls to quit.
In total, the report contains nine photos of boozy bashes – and Ms Gray has ruled “many of these events should not have happened.”
Ms Gray discovered Downing Street chiefs boasted “we got away with it” after 200 Government staffers were invited to a ‘bring your own booze’ party by the PM’s right-hand man on May 20 2020.
Martin Reynolds ignored concerns of other worried aides to plough ahead with the gathering.
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Another aide said partygoers should hide their booze from journalists, who were around Downing St for that day’s Covid press conference – warning they shouldn’t be spotted “waving bottles of wine”.
But after the illegal bash Reynolds told another aide at the drinks: “We seem to have got away with it.”
On the night of Prince Philip’s funeral, when the Queen sat alone as she said goodbye to her beloved husband, revellers partied until 4.20am in the garden of No10. Mr Johnson was not present.
And on December 18 2020 – the day before Mr Johnson effectively cancelled Christmas for millions with the tier system – a huge festive party took place.
Staff members “drank excessively” and a cleaner later found red wine sloshed up a wall.
The embattled Prime Minister has defended himself at PMQs – and will soon issue a grovelling apology to the nation.
He said: “I am humbled and I have learned a lesson.”
He told the Commons he was “as surprised and disappointed as anyone else in the House as the revelations have unfolded and, frankly, I have been appalled by some of the behaviour”.
But he said staff were working “extremely long hours” during the pandemic and “doing their best” – adding: “I appreciate this is no mitigation but it’s important to set out.”
And he vehemently denied lying to Parliament, telling MPs: “I’m happy to set on the record now that when I came to this House and said, in all sincerity, that the rules and guidance had been followed at all times, it was what I believed to be true.
“Clearly this was not the case for some of those gatherings.”
Sue Gray’s devastating report reveals:
- Downing Street chiefs bragged “We got away with it” after sneaking bottles of wine past reporters
- Staff IGNORED warnings to stop illegal bashes
- The PM held aloft a beer as he toasted staff during lockdown
- No10 aides showed a “lack of respect” to cleaners and security staff
- Hours after the Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral, workers partied in the garden of No10 until 4.20am
- And the day before the PM effectively cancelled Christmas for millions in 2020, a raging party took place at Downing Street
- Brits will be “dismayed” by the parties, grotesquely held as thousands were dying
- Following the report’s release, the embattled PM is today fighting for his political life
Cabinet enforcer Gray took aim at the PM and top officials in the report.
She blasted “failures of leadership and judgment” in No 10 and the Cabinet Office.
“The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture,” she said.
It has emerged that some Downing Street staff were worried about the lockdown rule-breaking they witnessed at work – but felt unable to raise the alarm, the Gray report found.
Other No10 insiders showed a “lack of respect” towards cleaners and security staff, she added.
The report states: “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.”
She added: “I hope that this will truly embed a culture that welcomes and creates opportunities for challenge and speaking up at all levels.”
Gray said the blame for the lockdown breaking lay squarely with the those at the top of government,
‘I AM HUMBLED’
She said: “I do offer a reflection: while there is no excuse for some of the behaviour set out here it is important to acknowledge that those in the most junior positions attended gatherings at which their seniors were present, or indeed organised.”
Brits will be sickened and appalled at the illegal lockdown breaking, the report found.
It states: “Many will be dismayed that behaviour of this kind took place on this scale at the heart of Government.
“The public have a right to expect the very highest standards of behaviour in such places and clearly what happened fell well short of this.”
Mr Johnson, wife Carrie and Mr Sunak were fined for one of the breaches, but are not expected to face further penalty.
Mr Case, the UK’s most senior civil servant, was not fined.
The PM will now face a punishing day of awkward questions over the report.
His weekly audience with the Queen is also pencilled in for tonight as BoJo faces the music.
The embattled PM will also try to soothe baying Tory critics with a closed-door meeting of Conservative MPs later.
Many will be dismayed that behaviour of this kind took place on this scale at the heart of Government
Ms Gray’s report finally arrived two days bombshell pics showing Boris raising a toast while surrounded by bottles of booze were leaked.
The photos show the PM lifting a glass while surrounded by staff at a leaving do for his comms chief Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.
At the time meetings between people from separate households were prohibited – unless they were in an “exclusive support bubble”.
Cops did NOT fine Mr Johnson over the event and only stung him for a single birthday bash in the Cabinet Room.
In total, the Met has dished out more than 126 fines to 83 people.
But more problems then arose when tensions between Ms Gray and No10 exploded into an open briefing war.
The battle included toxic claims the PM suggested the report never see the light of day after the cops concluded their own investigation.
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The accusation in The Times surfaced after a number of hostile attacks online and in newspapers against Ms Gray and the political neutrality of her team and Labour links of her family.
Downing Street formally denied putting pressure on Gray to bin her report, saying: “The Prime Minister wants the report to be published.
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“He’s looking forward to the conclusion of the report and it being put in the public domain.”
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman added: “The PM did not ask for that report to be not proceeded with or to be dropped.”
Mr Johnson appeared tense when he was snapped recently. He is also under huge pressure to solve the escalating cost of living crisis[/caption]