Sue Gray report reveals shocking details of drunken behaviour inside No 10

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·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
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Watch: Sue Gray report - Senior leadership must 'bear responsibility' for Downing Street party culture during lockdown

  • Sue Gray report details drunken behaviour at No 10 lockdown-breaking events

  • One No 10 staffer was sick at drinks event, which also saw an 'altercation' between two unnamed individuals

  • Senior official boasted 'we seem to have got away with' BYOB garden party

  • Prime minister says he takes “full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch”

  • Johnson said was his “duty” to attend leavings parties

Sue Gray's long-awaited Partygate report has revealed shocking details of drunken behaviour at law-breaking parties inside No 10 during lockdown.

At one leaving party for a senior staff member an individual was sick, and two others were involved in a "minor altercation" after consuming "excessive" amounts of alcohol, the report said.

Gray's report said the blame for the culture of rule-breaking should be placed on senior leaders in Downing Street, including Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson alongside Simon Case and No 10 staffers surrounded by food and drink on 19 June, 2020. (Cabinet Office)
Boris Johnson alongside Simon Case and No 10 staffers surrounded by food and drink on 19 June, 2020. (Cabinet Office)

The report investigated 16 events, and included nine pictures of gatherings, featuring Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak at a gathering for the PM's birthday.

The images show jugs of juice on the table of the Cabinet Office, with Marks and Spencer sandwiches.

Another damning revelation to emerge was that senior staff discussed the fact that events were in breach of the rules.

Ahead of the "bring your own booze" party in No 10 during lockdown, Johnson's former communications chief Lee Cain warned senior staff members Martin Reynolds and Dominic Cummings the event was “somewhat of a comms risk” and argued it should be cancelled.

Reynolds, who was then the principal private secretary to the PM, later boasted “we seem to have got away with” the BYOB garden party in a WhatsApp message to a special adviser.

Pictures show the Prime Minister and Chancellor at a gathering for Boris Johnson's birthday. (Cabinet Office)
Pictures show the PM and chancellor at a gathering for Boris Johnson's birthday. (Cabinet Office)

Speaking in the House of Commons after the report was made public, Johnson said he was "appalled" by some of the behaviour exposed.

Gray said she was made aware of multiple reports of "lack of respect and poor treatment" of security and cleaning staff, which she said was "unacceptable".

Johnson told MPs: “I have been as surprised and disappointed as anyone else in this House as the revelations have unfolded and, frankly, I have been appalled by some of the behaviour, particularly in the treatment of the security and the cleaning staff.

“And I’d like to apologise to those members of staff and I expect anyone who behaved in that way to apologise to them as well.”

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

The PM once again doubled down on his claim he was unaware there had been parties, saying he thought events were necessary for work purposes.

Principal private secretary to the PM Martin Renolds (pictured left, in 2016), boasted “we seem to have got away with” the BYOB garden party in a WhatsApp message to a special adviser. (PA)
Principal private secretary to the PM Martin Renolds (pictured left, in 2016), boasted “we seem to have got away with” the BYOB garden party in a WhatsApp message to a special adviser. (PA)

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

He told the Commons: "I briefly attended such gatherings to thank them for their service, which I believe is one of the essential duties of leadership and particularly important when people need to feel that their contributions have been appreciated and to keep morale as high as possible.”

As he was heckled, the PM said: “I’m trying to explain the reasons I was there. It’s clear from what Sue Gray had to say that some of these gatherings then went on far longer than was necessary and they were clearly in breach of the rules and they fell foul of the rules.”

Sources told the BBC that the events were 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".

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

Watch: Govt poised to announced multibillion-pound cost of living package as Sue Gray report expected

What did the Metropolitan Police find?

Costing more than £460,000, Operation Hillman — the name given to the investigation — saw the Met Police investigate 12 gatherings.

In total, eight events saw fixed penalty notices (FPNs) handed out.

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

Among those fined were Johnson, who was fined £50 for attending a birthday gathering in the Cabinet Office in June 2020.

His wife, Carrie Johnson, was also fined, as well as chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The events which also saw FPNs handed out were the infamous "BYOB" Downing Street garden party on May 20, 2020, in which people were invited to gardens of Downing Street to "make the most of the lovely weather".

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were both fined over a birthday gathering held for the prime minister in the Cabinet Office. (Getty)
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were both fined over a birthday gathering held for the prime minister in the Cabinet Office. (Getty)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, at the start of their meeting in 10 Downing Street, London. Picture date: Tuesday May 24, 2022.
Boris Johnson has been under renewed pressure to quit. (PA)

People were also fined for holding a party the night before Prince Philip's funeral on 16 April, 2021.

More fines were issued for events on 18 and 19 June, 2020; 13 November, 2020; 17 and 18 December, 2020 and 14 January, 2021.

The Met said the identities of those who had been fined would not be made public.

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