Boris Johnson Partygate timeline revealed as Prime Minister, his wife and Rishi Sunak hit with fines
A "Bring your own Booze" party, several leaving dos and Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday are among the Downing Street events under investigation
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be fined as part of a police probe into allegations of lockdown parties held at Downing Street.
Mr Johnson's wife, Carrie, has also been hit by the party breach fines.
It comes after the Metropolitan Police announced 30 additional fines on Tuesday in relation to Operation Hillman, which is looking into breaches of Covid-19 regulations at the top of Government.
Scotland Yard has now made at least 50 referrals for fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) – up from 20 at the end of March – to ACRO Criminal Records Office, which is responsible for issuing the fines.
A timeline of the parties under investigation by the Met has now been revealed.
Mr Johnson is understood to have been present at six of the at least 12 events listed below.
The Downing Street Party Timeline:
– May 20, 2020: Bring Your Own Booze party
A leaked email from the Prime Minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, showed No 10 staff were invited to “bring your own booze” to an event in the Downing Street garden.
Mr Johnson has admitted he was there for 25 minutes but said he thought it was a “work event” to thank staff for their efforts during the pandemic.
– June 18, 2020: Cabinet Office leaving do for a No.10 private secretary
Senior civil servant Sue Gray’s interim report said a gathering in the 70 Whitehall building was held to mark the departure of a No 10 private secretary.
The event had not previously been disclosed but The Telegraph said the official in question is former home affairs policy adviser Hannah Young, who left Downing Street to take up the role of deputy consul general in New York.
The newspaper said it understood about 20 people attended, with alcohol consumed.
– June 19, 2020: Boris Johnson’s 56th birthday
Downing Street has admitted staff “gathered briefly” in the Cabinet Room in what was reportedly a surprise get-together for the Prime Minister organised by his wife Carrie.
Up to 30 people gathered to present Mr Johnson with a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday, according to a report by ITV News.
Lulu Lytle, the interior designer behind lavish renovations of the Downing Street flat, briefly attended while undertaking work there.
However, No 10 has denied a report that, later the same evening, family and friends were hosted upstairs to celebrate the occasion.
– November 13, 2020: Downing Street flat do
Mrs Johnson reportedly hosted parties in the official flat over No 11 where she and her husband live, including one event on November 13, the night of Dominic Cummings’ acrimonious departure.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s wife called the claim “total nonsense”.
But reports have since suggested that the Prime Minister was seen heading up to the flat on the night in question, with the Mail On Sunday stating that Abba songs, including The Winner Takes It All, were heard coming from the residence.
Mr Cummings, former de facto chief-of-staff at No 10, has alleged there are photographs of parties held at the flat during lockdown and said he has spoken to people who heard music coming from the Johnsons’ accommodation on the night he left Downing Street.
– November 13, 2020: Leaving party for senior aide
According to reports at the time, Mr Johnson gave a leaving speech for Lee Cain, his departing director of communications and a close ally of Mr Cummings.
Eight days earlier Boris Johnson announced a new lockdown in England.
Indoor gatherings with other households were not permitted, unless they were for work purposes.
– December 17, 2020: Cabinet Office "Christmas party"
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case removed himself from the inquiry into Whitehall parties – to be replaced by Ms Gray – after reports emerged of a gathering in the Cabinet Office.
It was reported that the do had been organised by a private secretary in Mr Case’s team, and that it was noted in digital calendars as “Christmas party!” and included an online quiz.
The Cabinet Office said Mr Case played no part in the event “but walked through the team’s office on the way to his own”.
– December 17, 2020: Leaving drinks for former Covid Taskforce head
The former director-general of the Government’s Covid Taskforce, Kate Josephs, said she was “truly sorry” over leaving drinks held in the Cabinet Office.
– December 17, 2020: No 10 leaving do
A leaving do was held for a departing Downing Street official.
The staff member in question was Captain Steve Higham, then one of Mr Johnson’s private secretaries, who advised on defence and national security issues, according to The Telegraph.
Mr Johnson was only there “for a few minutes,” The Mirror reported.
Capt Higham became Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales in July 2021.
– December 18, 2020: Downing Street Christmas party
Officials and advisers reportedly made speeches, enjoyed a cheese board, drank together and exchanged Secret Santa gifts, although the Prime Minister is not thought to have attended.
Mr Johnson’s spokeswoman, Allegra Stratton, resigned after a video emerged of her joking about a “fictional party” at a mock press conference.
– January 14, 2021: More Downing Street leaving drinks
A gathering was held in No 10 to mark the departure of two private secretaries.
Reports have suggested the Prime Minister attended the leaving event, which was for a senior civil servant in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, according to The Telegraph.
The other official’s identity is so far unknown.
– April 16, 2021: Two leaving dos on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral
The night before the Queen sat alone at the funeral of her husband of more than 70 years, in compliance with Covid rules at the time, two leaving dos were reportedly held in No 10.
Downing Street apologised to Buckingham Palace after reported details emerged of boozy drinks parties, including one for outgoing communications director James Slack.
– December 15, 2020: Online Christmas quiz in No 10
Police initially said they did not intend to investigate the quiz, during which the Prime Minister appeared on contestants’ screens.
However they later said they would review the decision after a photograph emerged of Mr Johnson alongside an open bottle of sparkling wine.