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Home News Middle East Two Downing Street parties held evening before Prince Philip’s funeral – reports |...

Two Downing Street parties held evening before Prince Philip’s funeral – reports | Conservatives

Workers inside Downing Avenue held two employees leaving occasions that includes alcohol, and one with loud music, on the night earlier than Prince Philip’s funeral in April final yr, when such social contact remained banned, in line with new allegations reported on Thursday.

Eyewitnesses advised the Every day Telegraph {that a} mixed whole of about 30 folks took half in what gave the impression to be social occasions in numerous elements of Downing Avenue, earlier than each gatherings mixed within the backyard.

In response to one attender, a employees member was despatched with a suitcase to the Co-op on the Strand, a brief stroll away, returning with the case crammed with bottles of wine.

Philip’s funeral came about within the non-public chapel at Windsor Citadel the following day, Saturday 17 April, with the Queen sitting alone to keep up social distancing.

Boris Johnson was not at Downing Avenue that night, having gone to the prime ministerial nation retreat, Chequers, on the Thursday night and remaining into the weekend.

On the time, England was in stage two of the federal government’s gradual rest from lockdown. As much as six folks or two households might meet outdoors, whereas indoors, folks might solely socialise with their family or assist bubble.

The claims are set to heap but extra strain on the prime minister, who’s dealing with calls to resign, together with from a few of his personal MPs, after admitting he took half in an occasion within the No 10 backyard in Might 2020, in the course of the first Covid lockdown.

The studies had been met with fury throughout the political spectrum as extra Tory MPs known as for Johnson to be deposed as chief.

Labour deputy chief Angela Rayner wrote on Twitter: “I’ve no phrases for the tradition & behaviours at quantity 10 and the buck stops with the PM.”

Sir Ed Davey, the chief of the Liberal Democrats, stated: “The Queen sitting alone, mourning the lack of her husband, was the defining picture of lockdown. Not as a result of she is the Queen, however as a result of she was simply one other particular person, mourning alone like too many others. While she mourned, Quantity 10 partied. Johnson should go.”

Fran Corridor, from Covid-19 Bereaved Households for Justice, stated: “In case your neighbours had behaved like this, you’d have been disgusted. For the folks operating the nation to do it after which lie about it, reveals an entire disdain for most of the people.

“The Conservative MPs which are conserving him in energy shame their nation.”

Andrew Bridgen, a Conservative MP who supported Johnson when he efficiently ran as Tory chief, introduced he has handed in a letter of no confidence within the prime minister and known as for him to go away inside three months.

The main Brexiter, who campaigned alongside Johnson in the course of the referendum in 2016, advised the Telegraph there was a “ethical vacuum on the coronary heart of our authorities”.

Bridgen joins 4 Tory MPs, together with the chief of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, who’ve brazenly known as for Johnson to resign.

Conservative celebration guidelines say that if greater than 15% of the celebration’s MPs, at present 54, submit letters to Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, there needs to be a vote on the management. Ought to Johnson lose such a vote, a management problem would ensue by which he couldn’t participate.

James Slack, who had been the prime minister’s official spokesman, ‘gave a farewell speech’ at one of the events, said to be his leaving party.
James Slack, who had been the prime minister’s official spokesman, ‘gave a farewell speech’ at one of many occasions, stated to be his leaving celebration. {Photograph}: Stefan Rousseau/PA

One of many occasions final April marked the departure from authorities of James Slack, who was the prime minister’s official spokesperson beneath each Theresa Might and Johnson, earlier than turning into Johnson’s director of communications, in line with the Telegraph. He’s now deputy editor of the Solar.

The opposite leaving occasion was for one in every of Johnson’s private photographers, the paper stated. Witnesses advised the Telegraph that the occasion to mark the photographer’s departure primarily came about within the basement space of No 10, with loud music taking part in.

Each teams reportedly moved outdoors round midnight, with ingesting carrying on into the early hours of the morning. Whereas within the backyard one attender broke a swing belonging to Johnson’s toddler son, Wilfred, a witness advised the paper.

A Downing Avenue spokesperson stated, in relation to Slack’s departure: “On this particular person’s final day he gave a farewell speech to thank every group for the work they’d carried out to assist him, each those that needed to be within the workplace for work and on a display for these working from house.”

The Scottish Nationwide celebration’s Westminster chief, Ian Blackford, stated: “Boris Johnson has to go – and he has to go now. He broke the foundations and presided over an smug tradition of 1 rule for the Tories and one other for the remainder of us. Tory MPs have an obligation to take away him from workplace. It’s their integrity on the road – and so they gained’t be forgiven in the event that they refuse to behave.”

Slack was contacted for remark.

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