No 10 Christmas party: Dominic Cummings claims there was a third party

Dominic Cummings has claimed that there was yet another party in Downing Street during lockdown last year.

Jen Mills 

It comes after the prime minister was forced to defend himself in the Commons this afternoon over allegations there was a secret party for staff on December 18, when London was under Tier three restrictions.

Video of his then press secretary appearing to laugh about it with colleagues sparked anger last night, with Boris saying he is ‘furious’ after seeing the footage and will call for an investigation.

As PMQs went on, former top government aide Mr Cummings decided to add some more fuel to the fire by tweeting: ‘Will the CABSEC also be asked to investigate the *flat* party on Fri 13 Nov, the other flat parties, & the flat’s ‘bubble’ policy…?’

November 13 is the same day that Mr Cummings left government, following reports of bitter in-fighting.

After he made the allegations, Labour MP Catherine West asked during PMQs if he could confirm whether there was a part in Downing Street that day.

He replied ‘no’ and added: ‘I’m sure that whatever happened the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times.’

Mr Johnson insisted he had been repeatedly assured ‘there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken’.

It comes after The Department for Education admitted it held a social gathering of staff on December 10 last year in contravention to coronavirus social distancing rules as London was under Tier two restrictions at the time.

A spokeswoman for the department said: ‘‘Drinks and snacks were brought by those attending and no outside guests or supporting staff were invited or present.

‘While this was work-related, looking back we accept it would have been better not to have gathered in this way at that particular time.’

During the Commons session today, Labour’s Dr Rosena Allin-Khan questioned how Boris Johnson slept at night as she recalled weeping behind her mask while working in intensive care.

The MP for Tooting said the country is ‘angry’ before adding: ‘Last Christmas while we were in lockdown, millions of people were unable to be with their families, thousands of people waved through their care home windows at loved ones wishing them a merry Christmas from the side of the road, people died without that last touch from their daughters, their sons, their wives.

‘Working in intensive care I wept behind my mask as three children talking to their dying mother on an iPad begged her to wake up. Countless children now growing up without parents while parties were held at No 10.

‘This is disgraceful, this is an insult to everyone who followed the rules, it is an insult to everyone who wasn’t allowed to say their final goodbye. This happened on the Prime Minister’s watch so my question is very simple: How does the Prime Minister sleep at night?’

Mr Johnson thanked Dr Rosena for her service, adding: ‘If you ask me how I sleep at night, the answer is of course I take full responsibility and personal responsibility for everything that this Government has done, but I must say the way forward for this country now is to focus on the position we are in and above all to get our vaccinations as we fast as we possibly can.’

The Metropolitan Police said it is reviewing footage of Downing Street staff discussing the Christmas party at a press conference rehearsal.

It comes as thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the IOPC, the police watchdog, to investigate the Metropolitan Police’s response to the alleged incident.