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Leaked photos show Boris Johnson drinking at a party at 10 Downing Street back in November 2020 when the rest of the UK was in lockdown.
The images obtained by ITV News show the Prime Minister raising a glass at the leaving party held on 13 November, 2020, for former Director of Communications Lee Cain.
A further eight people and the photographer can be seen standing in close proximity, although a source told the publication there were other guests who weren't in shot.
In one of the images, the PM's red box can be clearly seen amongst a number of bottles of wine, gin and fizz, leading the source to dub the event 'Fizzgate'.
EXCL: @ITVNews has obtained pictures of Boris Johnson drinking at a No10 party during lockdown in November 2020.— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) May 23, 2022
The photos cast fresh doubt on the PM's repeated claims he was unaware of rule-breaking in No10 during the pandemic.
See all images here:https://t.co/sUJiWpxqmm pic.twitter.com/iXopuPIQu7
At the time the party was held, social events with people outside of their household were banned after Johnson announced a strict lockdown due to rising Covid cases.
As highlighted by the outlet, the photos cast fresh doubt on Johnson's claims that he was oblivious to rule-breaking at Downing Street gatherings during the pandemic.
In response to backlash over the photos, a Downing Street spokesperson told ITV: “The Cabinet Office and the Met Police have had access to all information relevant to their investigations, including photographs.
"The Met have concluded their investigation and Sue Gray will publish her report in the coming days, at which point the Prime Minister will address Parliament in full.”
Meanwhile, the Met Police highlighted a statement from Acting Deputy Commissioner Helen Ball published last week, which states: “Our investigation was thorough and impartial and was completed as quickly as we could, given the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the importance of ensuring that we had strong evidence for each FPN referral.
“This investigation is now complete.”
Back in December 2021, Johnson denied any gatherings taking place when asked specifically about the 13 November event.
Labour MP Catherine West said: "Mr Speaker, will the Prime Minister tell the House whether there was a party in Downing Street on the 13th of November?"
In response, Johnson said: "Mr Speaker, no. But I’m sure that, whatever happened, the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times."
The images arrive shortly after the the Metropolitan Police concluded its enquiry into Partygate and said it had issued 126 fixed penalty notices over the 12 events that were investigated.
Among those who received a fine were the PM and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, although many felt the £50 charge was a slap in the face to the general public who made unimaginable sacrifices to protect their loved ones during lockdown.
NEW: Downing Street staff and Boris Johnson pictured drinking wine in the No 10 garden last May when the rest of the country was limited to meeting just one other person socially outdoors.— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) December 19, 2021
Via @guardian https://t.co/Am9Z0qUxo1 pic.twitter.com/T7VTL2nSwh
Matt Fowler, co-founder of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, said at the time: “There you have it – it’s now indisputable that whilst bereaved families were unable to be at their loved ones’ sides in their last moments, or stood at their funerals alone, the people responsible for protecting us in Downing St were partying and rule breaking en masse.
“It’s a reality that is unbelievably painful for bereaved families like mine to face as we try and move forward with our lives.”
LADbible has contacted 10 Downing Street and the Met Police for further comment.
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