Cummings Says Pics of Alleged Lockdown-Breaching No 10 Parties Exist, Will ‘Inevitably Get Out'

© AFP 2022 / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVASBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and his special advisor Dominic Cummings leave from the rear of Downing Street in central London on September 3, 2019, before heading to the Houses of Parliament
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and his special advisor Dominic Cummings leave from the rear of Downing Street in central London on September 3, 2019, before heading to the Houses of Parliament - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.12.2021
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The UK government has launched a probe by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case into the alleged 18 December lockdown-breaching party at Downing Street, as well as two other events on 27 November, which PM Boris Johnson is said to have attended, and a Department for Education gathering on 10 December, all held last year during COVID-19 Tier 3 restrictions.
Dominic Cummings, former Downing Street chief adviser, has claimed that that there exist pictures from last year’s lockdown-breaching Christmas parties at No 10.
Cummings, who himself had been mired in controversy over perceived double standards after travelling to Durham from London during lockdown in spring 2020, went on Twitter to claim that there was footage from the alleged Downing street parties, which will "inevitably get out."
Cummings, who was forced to resign last November after losing a Downing Street power wrangle, also alleged, in a Q&A session with subscribers to his blog on his Substack page, that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson knew about an alleged party on 18 December, but did not attend it himself.
“He knew but I think did not attend, though remember the geography – to get upstairs he has to walk past that area where he could see it – if he was not [at] Chequers,” said Cummings, referring to the events of 18 December, according to The Independent.
The ex-No 10 political strategist also claimed Johnson had been “lying” when answering questions about the alleged parties at PMs Questions and at press conferences in recent days.
“There were invites sent across Whitehall, it was an organised party,” Cummings insisted, while also denying he was the source of the ITV News-leaked bombshell video which showed adviser Allegra Stratton, who has since resigned, joking about the “illicit” festive party.
© REUTERS / TOM NICHOLSONBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves outside Downing Street in London, Britain, December 8, 2021.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves outside Downing Street in London, Britain, December 8, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.12.2021
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves outside Downing Street in London, Britain, December 8, 2021.
Dominic Cummings also suggested that Jack Doyle, Boris Johnson's director of communications, would become the fall guy for the party scandal. Doyle, then the PM’s press secretary, is alleged to have made a speech addressing the almost 50 people gathered at the 18 December party, and handed out awards to them.
Cummings concluded by predicting the PM would “be gone before the next election ... probably summer”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference for the latest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) update in the Downing Street briefing room, in London, Britain December 8, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
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The claims made by Dominic Cummings add to a barrage of pressure Boris Johnson has been facing over the nature of last year’s reported Christmas gatherings in Downing Street during a time of heightened COVID-19 restrictions.
The Mirror first reported about the 18 December 2020 Downing Street Christmas party with allegedly food, drinks and games continuing past midnight.
Later, a video obtained by ITV News and dated 22 December 2020 showed a rehearsal for a TV media briefing four days after the alleged party took place.
Senior aides are heard jokingly referring to a "business meeting" and a "cheese and wine" event at a time when coronavirus restrictions banned mixing indoors between households.
The PM told MPs at PMQs on Wednesday he was "furious" at the footage and apologised for it. However, he stated he had been "repeatedly assured" no such gathering took place.
Allegra Stratton announced her resignation later that day. Jack Doyle’s resignation was reportedly rejected, with the PM's spokesman saying he has full confidence in Doyle, according to the BBC.
Boris Johnson has instructed Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to investigate the alleged Christmas party in No 10 on 18 December, along with two other events: a leaving do for aide Cleo Watson on 27 November, which Johnson is said to have attended, and a Department for Education (DfE) gathering on 10 December. All the events took place last year.
Photos of the Downing Street party, where staff were allegedly dressed in Christmas jumpers, may be handed over to Simon Case along with WhatsApp messages believed to reference alcohol available at the event, according to the Mail.

Treasury’s ‘Wine& Beer’ Bash

Among the latest revelations, government sources cited by The Times have claimed that some two dozen Treasury staff gathered for a party with “wine and beer” on 25 November to celebrate Chancellor Rishi Sunak's spending review during lockdown.
© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLEBus passengers and shoppers view a Christmas light display along Oxford Street, London, Britain, November 20, 2021
Bus passengers and shoppers view a Christmas light display along Oxford Street, London, Britain, November 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.12.2021
Bus passengers and shoppers view a Christmas light display along Oxford Street, London, Britain, November 20, 2021
At the time of the alleged party, restrictions set in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus advised people to remain at home unless exercising or out to shop for food. Non-essential shops, bars and restaurants were closed throughout that period.

“They'd all been working really hard. They had to be in the office anyway that day. It was not a formal party but perhaps in hindsight it was not the most sensible thing to do,” a source was cited by the outlet as saying.

It was added that Rishi Sunak did not attend the alleged event and had not been informed about it. A spokesman for the Treasury was cited as saying:
“In line with the guidance at the time, a number of staff came into the office to work on the Spending Review 2020. We have been made aware that a small number of those staff had impromptu drinks around their desks after the event.”
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case will reportedly decide later whether to add the alleged Treasury party to the potentially “illicit” gatherings he is set to probe.
Downing Street has not commented further on allegations against government staff, emphasising that an investigation is underway to establish all the facts.
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