Downing Street staff ‘arranged regular Friday wine hour drinks’ during lockdown – .

Downing Street staff ‘arranged regular Friday wine hour drinks’ during lockdown – .

Downing Street staff have reportedly organized Friday night drinks throughout the pandemic, with Boris Johnson regularly seeing them do so.
Prime Minister encouraged his aides to ‘let off steam’ despite being banned from socializing indoors during lockdown, The mirror reported a source as saying.

The newspaper said weekend ‘wine hour Fridays’ had become such a fixture that staff bought a £142 drinks fridge and walked to a nearby Tesco with a suitcase to stock up on wine and beer.

The fridge was reportedly delivered on December 11, 2020, when rules prohibited two or more people from different households from meeting inside unless it was necessary for work.

Downing Street apologized to Buckingham Palace on Friday after reports that staff attended two separate parties the day before Prince Philip’s funeral in April.

Officials declined to confirm or deny whether Boris Johnson was aware of the two parties, after admitting to attending a drink earlier and being photographed secondarily.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that this has happened at a time of national mourning and that No 10 has apologized to the Palace. »

According to The mirror.

The newspaper said the drinks were organized by the No 10 press office, but that advisers from other parts of the building would also be present. Captain Steve Higham, then defense adviser to the prime minister, reportedly showed up regularly.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “An investigation is underway to establish the facts regarding the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, setting and purpose by reference to compliance with the guidelines at the time. The conclusions will be made public in due course. »

Allegations of parties in Westminster during lockdown times are being investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray. She is expected to present her findings to Mr Johnson next week. He said he would publish the report and make a statement in the House of Commons.

Sources said The Independent that the Prime Minister is drawing up a list of officials who will offer resignations to protect his own position after the report is published.

He is believed to have added Dan Rosenfield, his chief of staff, and Martin Reynolds, the civil servant who organized the party which Mr Johnson admitted to attending, to the list.

The plan is called ‘Operation Save Big Dog’, a name reportedly chosen by Mr Johnson.

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