Partygate pictures: Boris Johnson ‘did not think he was at a party’

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The Prime Minister is facing fresh allegations that he lied to Parliament after leaked photos show him raising a glass at a Downing Street exit party during lockdown

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At the time, Covid restrictions meant people were forbidden from social mingling except to meet up with a person outside.

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The four photos, released on Monday (May 23), show Mr Johnson with a drink in hand while standing behind a table strewn with wine bottles and food.

He was not fined by the Metropolitan Police for the incident seen in the pictures, which show at least nine people in close proximity along with six bottles of wine.

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Prime Minister faces new allegations of lying to Parliament (Picture: Getty Images)

What did Grant Shapps say?

Defending the Prime Minister, Mr Shapps said the photos do not change what police and Sue Gray, the senior officer investigating lockdown violations in Whitehall, already know.

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The Cabinet Secretary told Sky News: “I don’t think the fact that we are seeing the images for the first time changes what the police and Sue Gray already know.

“I see his red box there which is his work box, to me it looks like on his way out of the office he goes downstairs and thanks the staff and raises a glass and doesn’t recognize it in his head as Party. And indeed, the police took care of it and expended a lot of time and resources.”

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When asked if he felt comfortable with the photos, he said: “Not me, I haven’t been able to see my own father for a long time because we played by the rules, but I also accept that the Prime Minister has long since apologized Has. made major reforms in No. 10 and if he had had time again he certainly would not have stopped by to thank a staff member who is leaving.”

“It shouldn’t have happened”

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Mr Shapps said the Prime Minister will be “disappointed” to see the images of him raising a glass at a farewell party during lockdown, admitting it “shouldn’t have happened”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I think we personally find them very difficult to watch. I couldn’t see my own father for four months during that time because he was in the hospital and we thought we lost him at some point.

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“I think if you look at that too, the Prime Minister will be disappointed.

“I think he popped up down there to raise a glass and thank a longtime employee who is leaving. In my view, that should not have happened.”

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Boris Johnson has repeatedly denied knowingly breaking any rules after being fined for yet another gathering. (Image credit: ITV News)

Mr Shapps declined to call it a party when pressed, saying instead: “It’s certainly a farewell event.”

The leaked photos have sparked fresh allegations that Mr Johnson had lied to Parliament after he told MPs in December that “the rules were respected at all times” when asked during the Prime Minister’s questions on Mr Cain’s exit party.

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Labor said there was now “no doubt” that Mr Johnson “lied” to MPs.

Downing Street declined to defend the scene depicted and said the Prime Minister would comment after Sue Gray’s report was published in partygate in the coming days.

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A spokeswoman for No. 10 said: “The Met Cabinet office and police had access to all information relevant to their investigation, including photographs.

“The Met has completed its investigation and Sue Gray will publish her report in the coming days, after which the Prime Minister will address Parliament in full.”

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