- “Vintage” events were held on 10 Downing Street each week during the pandemic.
- Boris Johnson was fully aware of the parties and supported them, saying they were good for morale.
- The Prime Minister’s team is currently working out a plan to save his political career.
A study by The Mirror has found that “wine-time Fridays” took place weekly at number 10 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office and home – below the height of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The events were encouraged by Johnson as they allowed staff to “let the steam out” even though the lockdown laws prohibited indoor gatherings.
“Wine-time Fridays” was such a big hit in Downing Street that a £ 142 ($ 190) drink fridge was purchased to keep their bottles of white wine, Prosecco and beer cool. Staff share the cost of the purchase, the report said.
The assemblies were weekly events from December 2020, when Britain was at the height of another COVID-19 wave that killed 70,000 people and continued through various degrees of restrictions, including full shutdown.
Although it was unclear the exact number of people who attended these events organized by the 10th Press Office, advisers from other departments were also regular attendees.
A source told The Mirror that: “Boris used to stop by for a chat while they had a drink. It was on its way up to his apartment and the door was usually open. He knew about it and encouraged it.”
A social event took place on the eve of Prince Phillips’ funeral, which the Queen had to attend alone.
Downing Street has apologized to Her Majesty the Queen.
Meanwhile, a London woman was fined £ 12,000 ($ 16,410) for hosting a birthday party on the day of Prince Phillip’s funeral, the Evening Standard reported.
This revelation is the latest in a long list of social gatherings that were found to be hosted or supported by the Prime Minister – who is referred to as the “partygate” – while Britain was in a socially isolating lockdown.
These gatherings are being investigated by Sue Gray, a senior official.
Catherine Neilan, Insider’s senior political editor in the UK, spoke to conservative politicians, many of whom are unhappy with their leader, Boris Johnson, and are considering pushing for Johnson’s resignation.
“People were angry before,” a member of Johnson’s government told Insider. “But now? We’re not just dealing with a drip-drip of leaks – it’s a raging river.”
“We have people leaving [Conservative] party – not just people who have voted for us for the last 40 years, but people who have been members. We have to do something, “a former minister told Insider.
In an effort to dodge calls for his resignation, Boris Johnson and his team have drawn up a plan that the prime minister has called “Operation Save the Big Dog,” the Independent reported – a title reportedly thought of by Johnson.
The plan specifies who will step down in place of the prime minister depending on the outcome of Sue Gray’s investigation, and also determine which of the prime minister’s achievements should shed light on.
A complete eradication of Boris Johnson’s number 10 team may be the only thing that can save Johnson’s premiership, reports Insiders’ Thomas Colson and Catherine Neilan.