What are the accusations against Carrie Johnson? PM’s wife could be dragged into Partygate scandal
Sue Gray is investigating data from staff swipecards as her inquiry is widened to include socialising at the PM’s apartment
It’s been claimed Ms Gray has now been told that two of Carrie’s friends visited the No 11 flat when Covid restrictions were in place, according to the Sunday Times.
However, the claims that it was a social occasion are being contested and instead an explanation has been given that the pair visited for “work reasons”.
This is not the first time Boris and Carrie Johnson have faced criticism over rule-busting gatherings said to have occurred during the pandemic.
So, when is Sue Gray’s report due - and what are the accusations facing Carrie Johnson?
When is Sue Gray’s report going to be published?
The fresh claims come at the start of a crucial week for Mr Johnson.
Sue Gray, the senior civil servant investigating lockdown parties in Downing Street, is expected to deliver her 25 page report this week.
It is likely to lead to renewed calls from opposition parties for a police investigation if there is any evidence Covid rules were broken – including at a drinks do in May 2020 attended by Mr Johnson.
The disclosures from the report will only fuel the febrile mood at Westminster, with Mr Johnson’s political survival hanging in the balance.
Ms Gray has reportedly been given access to a detailed log of staff movements accessing and departing No 10, the Guardian reports.
From this log of swipecards her team of six civil servants can investigate the exact whereabouts of staff and if anyone was in the building for social gatherings into the early hours.
What other claims is Carrie Johnson facing?
- May 15 2020: Downing Street garden party
Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie, former chief adviser Dominic Cummings, and Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, were all pictured in a photograph leaked to The Guardian, sitting around a table in the No 10 garden, with wine and cheese in front of them.
Some 15 other people were also in the photograph, but the Prime Minister has insisted this was a work meeting, saying: “Those were meetings of people at work. This is where I live and it’s where I work. Those were meetings of people at work, talking about work.”
- May 20 2020: BYOB party
Boris Johnson - and allegedly his then fiancé Carrie Symonds - attended a “bring your own booze” party in the No 10 garden during lockdown.
The email, which was sent to more than 100 Downing Street employees, invited staff to attend “socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden” in an attempt to “make the most of the lovely weather”.
It has been claimed that around 40 of those invited attended the gathering in the garden of Downing Street.
The Prime Minister has admitted attending for 25 minutes but insisted he thought the gathering was a work event, and No 10 has said Mr Johnson did not know about the event beforehand.
But his former chief aide Dominic Cummings said this was not true, and he had warned it was against the rules.
- Christmas 2020: Nimco Ali stay
The Prime Minister and Carrie Johnson reportedly broke lockdown rules after spending Christmas with friend Nimco Ali - Wilfred’s godmother - at No 10 in 2020.
A report by Harper’s Magazine in the US claimed that Mrs Johnson and her husband were joined by their friend, political campaigner Nimco Ali, over the festive period, despite strict social distancing rules being in place due to surging Covid-19 cases.
Downing Street and Mrs Johnson’s spokesperson have said that lockdown rules were not broken, although neither denied that Ms Ali joined the couple at Christmas.
In a statement released at the time, No 10 said: “The Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson have followed coronavirus rules at all times. It is totally untrue to suggest otherwise.”
- September 2020: West End engagement party
Carrie Johnson admitted to breaking Covid rules after a photograph surfaced of her hugging a friend at an engagement party.
The Prime Minister’s wife was pictured breaching social distancing guidelines at an event in London’s West End in September 2020.
At the time, government guidance called for people to stay two metres apart from people not in their own household “where possible”, or one metre if taking the extra precaution of meeting outdoors.
However, The Sunday Telegraph published a photograph of Mrs Johnson embracing a friend at a social event at The Conduit, a private members’ club in Covent Garden’, when such restrictions applied.
The rule of six was in place at the time the photograph was taken, which the paper said was 17 September.
Mrs Johnson is shown with her arm wrapped around Anna Pinder and one of her legs draped over her leg in a picture that circulated online, and is laughing with her friend while posing for the snap on a sofa on the club’s outdoor terrace.
A spokesperson said: “Mrs Johnson was one of a group of six seated outside celebrating a friend’s engagement.
“Mrs Johnson regrets the momentary lapse in judgement in briefly hugging her friend for a photograph.”
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