Boris had 'prosecco-fuelled' party in lockdown but refuses to say he'll quit if fined

1 February 2022, 21:03 | Updated: 2 February 2022, 07:18

Boris Johnson was allegedly seen heading to his Downing St flat on the night of the 'Abba-themed' party, reports say.
Boris Johnson was allegedly seen heading to his Downing St flat on the night of the 'Abba-themed' party, reports say. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Boris Johnson has refused to say he will resign, even if he is fined by the Metropolitan Police for breaking coronavirus restrictions, as he faces fresh allegations of lockdown-busting parties in Downing St.

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He also fended off any questions about partygate by advising people wait for the outcome of the Met's investigation, in an interview with The Sun.

Mr Johnson has been accused of attending an 'Abba-themed' party in his flat and two separate leaving dos being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

He was seen heading to his Downing Street flat on the "Abba-themed night" under police investigation and is accused of attending a Prosecco-fuelled farewell during the strict January lockdown, reports say.

Aides could hear Abba music coming from the flat, the Mail on Sunday said, while The Telegraph has now reported that the Prime Minister was seen heading to the residence on the night of November 13 2020.

Meanwhile, The Guardian also reported Mr Johnson "dropped in" at another leaving do on January 14 during the strict post-Christmas lockdown, which is now under police investigation.

Read more: 'Incriminating' photos exist of Boris Johnson at No10 parties, Dominic Cummings says

Sue Gray's report into lockdown parties revealed several events that had not previously been publicised, including a gathering on January 14 2021 "on the departure of two No10 private secretaries".

Fresh reports say the Downing Street event was partly held as a leaving do for a senior policy adviser who is now a top civil servant working in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The identity of the second official remains unknown.

Two weeks before, Mr Johnson had told England: "You may only leave home for limited reasons permitted in law, such as to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance such as getting a Covid test, or to escape domestic abuse."

Mr Johnson is understood to have given a speech thanking the official for their work and staying for around five minutes.

The second event was held on December 17 2020 and was described in Ms Gray’s report as “a gathering in No10 Downing Street on the departure of a No 10 official”.

The official who was leaving was Captain Steve Higham, then one of Mr Johnson's private secretaries who advised on defence and national security issues, The Telegraph reports.

Dominic Cummings, his ex-aide who has spent his post-Government life insisting Mr Johnson is unfit for office, said there were pictures from the 'Abba-themed' event on November 13, which he described as a party.

The November 13 claim would have happened on the same day Mr Cummings left No10 - with Abba's hit "The Winner Takes It All" apparently heard from the flat.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister declined to say whether he was in the flat that night when asked. Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister's wife, was reportedly there that evening.

The reports come hours after the Prime Minister's former chief aide claimed there are "incriminating" photographs of Mr Johnson at reported gatherings, including the 'Abba-themed' do.

Read more: Boris will be outed if fined for breaching Covid rules, Downing Street says

Mr Cummings accused the beleaguered Prime Minister of "lying" about his appearance at Downing Street parties.

In a question and answer session on his paid-for blog, Mr Cummings was asked if there were photos that would "incriminate" the Prime Minister.

He said: "Yes there are photos of the PM at parties under investigation. I've spoken to people who say they've seen photos of parties in the flat."

He also claimed he had spoken to people who were in No10 on November 13 2020, when there was an alleged gathering in Mr Johnson's Downing Street flat.

He said: "I've talked to people who were in No10 on 13/11 who could hear the party in No10 after I'd left - the press office is below the flat.

"If cops talk to people there that night, there'll be witnesses who say 'we could all hear a party with Abba playing'."

He also tweeted on Tuesday evening: "He's finished. 'Push what is falling'."

Downing Street refused to comment on the fresh allegations.