Boris Johnson is grilled over Martin Reynolds lockdown party
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Outrage is gathering among Tory MPs who feel their already dented trust with voters risks being irreparably damaged. Even ministers are worried about Mr Johnson’s is losing control of the political agenda.
The Prime Minister had been hoping the Christmas break would give him the chance to reset his leadership.
After outrage in December at accusations of Covid rule breaking in No10, Mr Johnson was eager to start the new year afresh.
But new claims his private secretary sent an email telling people to “bring your own booze” to an illegal gathering at the heart of Government on May 20 2020 has reignited anger.
Martin Reynolds reportedly said in an email: “After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening.
“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”
At the time of the gathering, schools were shut to most pupils, and pubs and restaurants were closed, with strict controls on social mixing.
One member of Mr Johnson’s frontbencher team conceded the latest leak left the Prime Minister more exposed than ever before.
“I think this is the worst exposed the Prime Minister has ever been by these leaks,” they told The Guardian.
“There’s no explanation, there’s no way to distance himself.
“His only saviour is if the public has given up caring.”
Another senior Tory insider told the publication: “The rules were not just tweaked but snapped in half.
“This is now incredibly close to the PM.
“It’s very tricky to sack someone for a party he attended.”
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Meanwhile Conservative peer and former Scottish Tory leader, Baroness Davidson said: “What the f*** were any of these people thinking.”
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg hinted Mr Johnson could be named in an official investigation currently being carried out into the alleged party.
He said if “the pope had popped in briefly you would expect his holiness would be named”.
His comment will ramp up pressure on the Prime Minister.
Appearing on the BBC this morning, Health Minister Edward Argar admitted the public was “angry and upset” by the claims of another lockdown breaching party.
He said: “I can entirely understand why people who’ve lost loved ones, or people who’ve just had their lives hugely disrupted by these restrictions, are angry and upset by these allegations.”
However, he refused to be drawn on details of the latest allegations, insisting that it was a matter for the investigation into Whitehall parties being carried out by senior official Sue Gray.
He said it would be wrong to comment any further until the inquiry had concluded.
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