The government has now apologized to Buckingham Palace for the incidents. “It is very regrettable that this happened at a time of national mourning and No. 10 has apologized to the Palace,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deputy official spokesman told reporters on Friday.
An event was held to mark the departure of communications director James Slack, who is now deputy editor at The Sun, the nation’s best-selling newspaper.
Slack also apologized “for the anger and hurt” caused by the incident, which, he said, “shouldn’t have happened at the time,” in a statement reported by PA media on Friday.
With the title “a booze run to fill a suitcase with wine,” The Telegraph reported that party workers brought wine bought at a nearby store in a suitcase, played music, danced and were somehow used by Prime. broke the swing. Younger son of Minister Boris Johnson.
The Telegraph is often seen as a cheerleader for Johnson, who was once its Brussels correspondent and was writing a regular paid column for the publication even after entering top-level politics.
The day after the gathering, Philip’s funeral provided one of the most powerful images of the pandemic. During the service the Queen sat alone in the chapel at Windsor Castle, observing strict social distancing rules, and a photo of the solitary monarch garnered huge public sympathy both at home and abroad.
The COVID-19 restrictions at the time, which mandated a maximum of 30 guests at the funeral, also meant that some of Philip’s close friends could not attend.
In April 2021, people in England were banned from socializing indoors with more than one household member, with people outside their home or when alone. Outdoor gatherings were limited to groups of six people or two households.
Johnson did not attend the April 16 party, the Telegraph reported, but news of another social gathering organized under his watch while the rest of the country remained under strict lockdown puts pressure on the already embattled leader.
A Downing Street spokesman responded to CNN’s request for comment on The Telegraph’s reporting on Thursday, saying: “On this person’s final day, he wrote a letter to each team to thank them for the work they have done for their support. Gave farewell speech, both for those who had to work in the office and for those working from home on screen.” The spokesperson confirmed that they were referring to James Slack.
Asked by CNN on Friday morning for further comments, a Downing Street spokesperson said the statement above is the only one that will be issued by the office.
The latest revelations only deepen the political hole Johnson found himself at social events held in and around Downing Street in the spring of 2020 and the runup to Christmas that year, when national restrictions barred such gatherings.
When those questions began, Johnson initially rebuffed them by saying that there was no party and that his staff and colleagues followed the rules at all times. Since then a flood of allegations and leaks has shed new light on many of the gatherings.
The gatherings are under investigation, led by Sue Grey, a senior civil servant.
CNN’s Luke McGee, Rob Pichetta and Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this report.