New reports have emerged with claims that former Prime Minister and law-breaker Boris Johnson boasted about being at the U.K.’s most “unsocially distanced party.” He reportedly made the claims when attending leaving drinks inside 10 Downing Street, when the country was under strict lockdown rules — introduced by Johnson’s government — designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It’s the latest in a string of so-called “partygate” stories, the series of scandals which eventually brought Johnson’s premiership to an end in 2021.
Now, as reported by the Guardian, new revelations and allegations have emerged from an ITV podcast series, Partygate: the Inside Story. Johnson “made the remark as staff gathered round a table filled with alcohol and party snacks to hear him toast his outgoing director of communications, Lee Cain, in November 2020,” it says.
According to the Guardian, a source told ITV:
“I was working late. Some music came on, the mumbling – sort of – rose, and there were loads of people stood around, but this time I came out because I heard the prime minister speaking and that’s when I heard the quote: ‘This is the most unsocially distanced party in the UK right now,’ and everyone was laughing about it.”
At the time, as stipulated on 5 November 2020, indoor gatherings were banned except for in certain circumstances such as “work purposes,” and social distancing remained the rule in workplaces.
The story comes as the the Commons privileges committee inquiry into whether Johnson misled MPs about law-breaking parties during the pandemic restarts today, Wednesday 11 January. Should Johnson be found to have indeed misled ministers, it would constitute “a serious breach of parliamentary rules that could end his career as an MP,” the Guardian states. Hearings relating to the inquiry — are we going to see this guy again?! — are expected to take place in the coming weeks.