Martin Reynolds: No10 says it has ‘full confidence’ in aide behind ‘party’ email

Boris Johnson with Martin Reynolds   (AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson with Martin Reynolds (AFP via Getty Images)

Downing Street has insisted it has full confidence in Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Martin Reynolds as he faced questions over his position following the latest lockdown-busting party storm.

Mr Reynolds, who serves as the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary, wrote an email - leaked to ITV News on Monday - inviting 100 officials in Number 10 to “socially distanced drinks” on May 20 2020.

The emergence of the email has reignited the controversy over gatherings and parties at Downing Street and across Whitehall which may have broken Covid lockdown rules in place at the time to help slow the spread of the deadly virus.

The senior civil servant Sue Gray is currently investigating the claims with Mr Johnson refusing to address questions on whether he attended the May 20 event or other parties until she has concluded her inquiries.

Amid growing speculation that Mr Reynolds could be sacked or moved to a senior diplomatic role following Ms Gray’s probe, Tory peer Baronness Davidson, the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said on Tuesday morning: “I don’t know how he is still in position.”

But asked whether Mr Reynolds was still in post, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Yes Martin continues in his role.”

In response to a question on whether Mr Johnson still has full confidence in the senior aide, the spokesman replied: “Yes.”