Cummings accuses PM of lying over No 10 party
The Guardian|January 18, 2022
Dominic Cummings has accused Boris Johnson of lying after No 10 denied the prime minister was warned against allowing a “bring your own booze” party during the first lockdown.
Rowena Mason, Heather Stewart

Johnson admitted to parliament last week that he attended drinks in the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020, but claimed he had not realised it was a social gathering.

The event was organised by Johnson’s principal private secretary (PPS), Martin Reynolds, who told people to “bring your own booze” – but No 10 denies that the prime minister saw the emailed invitation to about 100 staff. It has also denied allegations that two senior staffers warned Johnson not to go ahead with the event, saying this was “not true”.

But Cummings, a former senior aide to the prime minister, wrote a new blog post yesterday challenging that account. He said he personally told Reynolds that the invitation broke the rules and claimed Reynolds replied: “So long as it’s socially distanced I think it’s OK, I’ll check with the PM if he’s happy for it to go ahead.”

Cummings then said that during a discussion over the future of the cabinet secretary and Reynolds, he had said to the prime minister something like: “Martin’s invited the building to a drinks party, this is what I’m talking about, you’ve got to grip this madhouse.”

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