MELTDOWN AT NO10

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Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has rejected Mayor Sadiq Khan’s calls for transparency over the inquiry into lockdown parties at Downing Street…reports Asian Lite News

Tonight’s Panorama at 7 pm will reveal the scenes behind that famous black door at No10 Downing Street.  Insiders who attended events at Downing Street during lockdown have told the BBC how staff crowded together, sat on each other’s laps and how party debris was left out overnight. For the first time, insiders who were at some of the events have told BBC Panorama in detail what they saw.

Speaking anonymously, three insiders have opened up about a world behind No 10’s famous front door where the lockdown rules the country was living by were routinely ignored, socialising was regular, with, they felt, the prime minister’s implicit permission, BBC reported.

One staffer describes director of communications Lee Cain’s leaving do, the event on 13 November 2020, where the prime minister has been pictured raising a glass, but for which he has not been fined. Others have been judged to have broken the law for being there and received penalties.

Mr Johnson attended and made a speech to thank Mr Cain, but as the party developed “there were about 30 people, if not more, in a room. Everyone was stood shoulder to shoulder, some people on each other’s laps…one or two people.”

At the party on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral on 16 April 2021, they portray a “lively event… a general party with people dancing around”. The gathering becoming so loud that security guards in the building told them to leave the building and go into the No 10 grounds.

“So everyone grabbed all the drinks, the food, everything, and went into the garden,” one source told BBC. “We all sat around the tables drinking. People stayed the night there.”

They now concede what went on was “unforgivable”.

The insiders admit that events were routine. “They were every week,” one says. “The event invites for Friday press office drinks were just nailed into the diary.” The invitation was known as “WTF” – meaning “Wine-Time Friday” and a reference to a less polite acronym.

The drinks were often scheduled in No 10 for 4pm. Sources say Friday drinks had been a tradition in Whitehall for some time. But drinking wasn’t limited to Fridays. One former official describes turning up at work in No 10 often to find “A mess! There were bottles, empties, rubbish – in the bin, but overflowing – or indeed sometimes left on the table.”

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has rejected Mayor Sadiq Khan’s calls for transparency over the inquiry into lockdown parties at Downing Street.

Sadiq Khan said there were mounting questions about the integrity of the investigation and that they would damage public trust.

The Met remained defiant despite the publication of photographs showing the prime minister giving a toast at a leaving event during the November 2020 lockdown, when social gatherings were banned. Johnson was pictured in front of a table with several bottles of alcohol, including wine and gin.

A Met spokesman confirmed to The Times that the force did not plan to expand on the statement it issued on Friday after the conclusion of Operation Hillman.

Its leadership has refused to say why Johnson escaped a fine even though others were given fixed-penalty notices for attending a leaving party for Lee Cain, the outgoing director of communications, on November 13, 2020.

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