LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – A former adviser to Boris Johnson said on Monday he was prepared to tell „under oath“ that the prime minister knew a party was held at his residence during a COVID-19 confinement, accusing him of lying to Parliament.
British media have reported that there were at least 11 meetings at 10 Downing Street – the prime minister’s official residence and office – or other government offices between May 2020 and April 2021, when COVID-19 rules limited the number of people who could gather.
The government is conducting an internal investigation to clarify the facts.
Last week, Johnson apologized to Parliament for attending a meeting where everyone brought „their own drink“ in the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020, but said he had thought it was a working event at the time.
Dominic Cummings, one of the architects of Britain’s exit from the European Union and a former senior adviser to Johnson, who left the government in November 2020, said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) that the prime minister had agreed to the drinks party going ahead.
„Not only myself, but other eyewitnesses who spoke about this at the time, would say under oath that this is what happened,“ he said on his page.
Last week, ITV News published an email invitation from Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds (NYSE:RAI), to a May 20, 2020, event, asking attendees to „bring your own booze.“
Cummings said that after at least two people asked Reynolds to cancel the invitation, he checked with Johnson to see if he should proceed.
„The prime minister agreed that it should be done,“ Cummings said in his blog. Johnson’s spokesman denied Monday that the prime minister had been informed of the May 20 event.
„It is untrue to say that the prime minister was informed or warned in advance,“ the spokesman said.