Dominic Cummings claims another party was held in PM's flat during lockdown

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·Data and Politics News Editor, Yahoo News UK
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Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Dominic Cummings has said that a party was held in Boris Johnson's Downing Street flat on 13 November while the country was in lockdown (Reuters)

Dominic Cummings has claimed that more parties were held in Boris Johnson's Downing Street flat, including one when the country was in the grip of the second national lockdown.

The PM's former chief advisor said a party was held on 13 November, the day he himself was sacked from his job at Number 10.

At the time, the public had been told to stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect the NHS.

Cummings made the claim after Johnson announced there would be an investigation by the cabinet secretary into claims there was a Christmas party in No 10 last year.

He wrote on Twitter: "Will the [cabinet secretary] also be asked to investigate the flat party on Fri 13 Nov, the other flat parties, & the flat's 'bubble' policy...?"

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate at Parliament in London, Britain, December 8, 2021, in this screen grab taken from video. Reuters TV via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS USE ONLY, CANNOT BE USED FOR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT OR SATIRICAL PURPOSES, PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST USAGE MUST BE CLEARED WITH PBU
Boris Johnson announced he has ordered an investigation into claims Downing Street staff broke lockdown rules by holding a Christmas party last year. (ParliamentTV)

During Prime Minister's Questions, MP Catherine West asked the PM if the claims were true.

Johnson responded: "No. But I'm sure whatever happened, the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times."

'I have been repeatedly assured there was no party'

Johnson faced questions in the Commons on Wednesday about the alleged Downing Street Christmas party, after footage emerged on Tuesday of senior No 10 staff laughing and joking about it.

The PM said he had ordered an investigation into claims Downing Street staff broke lockdown rules, apologised, and told MPs he was “furious” about the footage.

He insisted he had been repeatedly assured “there was no party and that no COVID rules were broken”.

This followed a week of denials from No 10's official spokespeople that a party ever took place on 18 December 2020, when London was under Tier 3 restrictions – despite numerous reports staff drank alcohol, played games and exchanged secret Santa gifts.

Watch: Newsreader tears into video of Downing Street staff laughing over Xmas party

Johnson said he had asked cabinet secretary Simon Case “to establish all the facts and to report back as soon as possible – and it goes without saying that if those rules were broken then there will be disciplinary action for all those involved”.

He told the House of Commons: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures, and I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules because I was also furious to see that clip."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the apology “raises more questions than answers”.

“Millions of people now think the prime minister was taking them for fools, that they were lied to. They are right aren’t they?”

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