Sources have alleged that Boris Johnson attended another party while Covid restrictions were in place; this time during the first lockdown in May, 2020.
The prime minister has been at the centre of scandal after reports emerged that a non-socially distanced party took place at 10 Downing Street on December 18, among a series of other possible Christmas events.
The sources stated that Johnson spent 15 minutes with around 20 members of staff, and that there was wine, pizza, and spirits, The Guardian reports.
They alleged that the event took place after a press conference earlier in the day, with some members staying late into the night.
The gathering was reportedly spread out between offices at Downing Street and the garden.
Rules during the first lockdown in May 2020 stated that a distance of two metres must be maintained, and that only two people from different households could meet in an outside setting.
Earlier that evening, at the press conference the health secretary at the time, Matt Hancock, advised the public to ‘stay at home as much as is possible’ and ‘stick with the rules, keep an eye on your family’ and to not ‘take risks’.
The sources claim that Hancock was also in attendance at the event, however it is unconfirmed if he or Johnson joined in on the drinking or whether they stayed late.
A spokesperson for the prime minister said:
In the summer months Downing Street staff regularly use the garden for some meetings. On 15 May 2020 the prime minister held a series of meetings throughout the afternoon, including briefly with the then health and care secretary and his team in the garden following a press conference.
The prime minister went to his residence shortly after 7pm. A small number of staff required to be in work remained in the Downing Street garden for part of the afternoon and evening.
A spokesperson for Hancock said the allegations were ‘not true’ and stated that after the press conference finished ‘at approximately 5:53pm’ Hancock debriefed his team, before then going to see Johnson at 10 Downing Street, leaving at 6:32pm.
The claims of a party in May 2020 come as Johnson’s government is facing intense scrutiny over a number of reported Christmas parties that took place last year. Sources say there was a Christmas quiz on December 15, attended by Boris Johnson, as well as a party at Downing St on December 18, among other gatherings.