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The Guardian view on Boris Johnson and the Downing Street parties: a price must be paid | Editorial

Evidence of another No 10 garden party during lockdown has placed the prime minister’s future on the line

“Is this for real?” responded one Downing Street staff member to a party invitation from Boris Johnson’s private secretary at the height of the first lockdown. Sadly, shamefully, it was.

The undisputed facts bear repetition. At the daily coronavirus news briefing on 20 May 2020, Oliver Dowden, then culture secretary, reiterated that Covid restrictions permitted individuals to meet just one person from outside their household. Barely an hour later, one of the prime minister’s most senior aides invited about 100 colleagues to a party in the Downing Street garden. Leaving no room for doubt as to the nature of the occasion, staff were told to “bring your own booze”. It seems that 30 to 40 people attended and the star guests, according to eyewitness accounts, were the prime minister and his now wife, Carrie.

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