Boris Johnson was ‘not partying’ in new pictures that show him ‘raise a glass’ at a leaving do, says Grant Shapps | Politics News


Boris Johnson was “not partying” in newly-released photos that show him drinking with colleagues during lockdown, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.

Mr Shapps told Sky News’ Kay Burley that the prime minister had attended the event at the end of the day to “raise a glass” to a staff member who was leaving.

The pictures are of a gathering in November 2020 to mark the departure of the PM’s then communications chief Lee Cain.

Fines have been issued to some of those who attended that event by police investigating lockdown breaches in Downing Street – but not Mr Johnson, who only received one fixed penalty notice, which related to a separate event.

Mr Shapps told Sky News: “The question is, was he down there partying? No, clearly not – he’d gone by to say thanks and raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving.”

“The police have spent a lot of time with a lot of people and a lot of resources crawling over it and they’ve come to their conclusion – as we know he wasn’t fined for that event.”

But Mr Shapps was also pressed on the prime minister’s assurance to parliament later in 2020, when asked about the gathering, that he was sure that “the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times”.

The transport secretary said that the PM’s ministerial red boxes could be seen, suggesting that he went down to the leaving do “on his way out of the office”.

It comes as Sky News has been told by sources of the claim that the PM implied the Sue Gray report should be dropped, questioning what more would be left to say after the police concluded their work.


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