Boris Johnson Admits He Attended 'BYOB' Garden Party At Downing Street During Lockdown

The British prime minister said he believed at the time it was a “work event” permitted “technically” under the rules of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson answers questions from members of Parliament.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson answers questions from members of Parliament.
House of Commons via PA Wire/PA Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted he attended a “bring your own booze” party at Downing Street during the height of the first coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking at the start of Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Johnson apologized for the gathering on May 20, 2020.

But defending his actions, Johnson said he believed at the time it was a “work event” permitted “technically” under the rules when he “went into that garden.”

“I know that millions of people have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last 18 months,” he said.

“I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed.”

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said it was “ridiculous” that Johnson “didn’t realize he was at a party.”

In an escalation of the war of words, Starmer accused Johnson of “lying through his teeth” and added: “Is he going to do the decent thing and resign?”

PMQs was Johnson’s first public appearance since the leak on Monday of an email, obtained by ITV News, from his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds.

It revealed Reynolds invited No.10 staff to the gathering to “make the most of the lovely weather.”

“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!” Reynolds told staff.

Revelations about the event have seriously endangered Johnson’s future, with his position as prime minister and Conservative Party leader now openly being discussed in Westminster.