Partygate: Boozy No10 staff kicked out by security guard on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

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·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with President of Uruguay, Lacalle Pou, at 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of talks. Picture date: Monday May 23, 2022.
Boris Johnson has been under increasing pressure over Partygate. (PA)

A party in Downing Street on the night before the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral became so raucous that security guards asked people to leave the building, it has been claimed.

Anonymous Downing Street insiders have shared details of widespread rule-breaking in No 10 during lockdown with the BBC, as Sue Gray prepares to share her report into Partygate.

Among the events described was a party on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral on 16 April 2021, which the source said was a "lively event... a general party with people dancing around".

At one point the gathering became so loud security guards within the building told attendees to leave and go into the gardens, the BBC reported.

Watch: PM was 'raising a glass to someone leaving' says Grant Shapps

Read more: Boris Johnson 'was not partying' at lockdown leaving do, Shapps insists

One person told the broadcaster: "So everyone grabbed all the drinks, the food, everything, and went into the garden.

"We all sat around the tables drinking. People stayed the night there."

The anonymous staff member admitted that what went on in Downing Street while the rest of the country was under lockdown rules was "unforgivable".

Johnson previously apologised to the Queen for the event – which the PM did not attend – later saying he "deeply and bitterly" regretted what happened.

The staff members told the BBC the event was part of a larger culture of regular rule-breaking, which saw Fridays dubbed "WTF" - or "Wine Time Fridays".

People who worked in Downing Street told the broadcaster the drinking culture was set by Johnson himself as he "wanted to be liked".

Pictured of Boris Johnson at a leaving do were obtained by ITV News. (ITV News)
Pictured of Boris Johnson at a leaving do were obtained by ITV News. (ITV News)

The three people who spoke to the BBC said Downing Street was seen as its own "bubble" where rules did not apply.

Another claimed that a Downing Street security guard was mocked when they attempted to stop a party in the building which was in full swing.

An investigation into Partygate by the Metropolitan Police examined 12 separate events, of which eight resulted in fixed penalty notices being issued.

London, UK - January 14th 2022. Armed police officers outside the Downing Street gates.
The three people who spoke to the BBC said Downing Street was seen as its own "bubble" where rules didn't apply. (PA)

Detectives handed out 126 fines to 83 people - with some people receiving up to five.

Boris Johnson was issued one Fixed Penalty Notice, for a birthday gathering held for him in the Cabinet Office in June 2020.

The ongoing issue has been a thorn in the side of the PM, who is now facing fresh accusations he lied to Parliament after ITV News published photographs of one gathering showing the prime minister surrounded by bottles of alcohol.

The images have prompted calls from a small number of Conservative MPs for the PM to resign, with Tory MP Roger Gale describing them to Yahoo News UK as "damning".

The images published by ITV News were taken at a gathering held for departing communications chief Lee Cain on 13 November 2020, just days after Johnson had ordered a second national lockdown in England.

Sue Gray is handling the inquiry into the growing numbers of reports (PA/Gov)
Sue Gray handled the inquiry into lockdown breaking parties in Downing Street. (PA/Gov)

Asked last December in the Commons whether there had been a party in No 10 on that date, the prime minister said he was sure the rules were followed at all times.

Labour said there was now “no doubt” that Johnson had “lied” to MPs.

The Metropolitan Police is facing questions as to why Johnson was not fined in relation to the event when photographs showed him, drink in hand, alongside a table strewn with food and wine bottles.

There were at least eight other people in the room at a time when people were banned from social mixing, other than to meet one person outside.

People were allowed to mix at work, but only if doing so was "reasonably necessary" for work purposes.

It is known at least one individual has received a fixed penalty notice in relation to an event on that date, though it is not the prime minister.

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is expected to publish her report into Partygate later this week.

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