Boris Johnson regularly witnessed "wine-time Fridays" at Downing Street during pandemic - report
Downing Street staff are alleged to have regularly held "wine-time Fridays" during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Downing Street staff regularly held "wine-time Fridays" during the Covid-19 pandemic, which UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was aware of and regularly witnessed, reports the Mirror.
According to sources, Johnson encouraged those in participation to "let off steam" despite lockdown rules stating that indoor socialising was banned at the time.
The paper alleges that the event - known as "wine-time Fridays" - proved to be so popular that staff even bought a drinks fridge worth £142 to ensure their abundance of alcoholic beverages could remain cool.
Aides would reportedly take it in turns each week to visit the local Tesco Metro in Westminster, where they would use a wheel suitcase to help transfer the drinks to the fridge.
The Mirror also claims that wine-time Fridays were such a regular occurrence that the event was scheduled into the electronic calendars of several members of staff inside Number 10 between 4pm and 7pm every week.
Johnson is also alleged to have been in attendance at a "handful" of the gatherings with one source saying: “Boris used to stop by for a chat while they had a drink.
"It was on the way up to his flat and the door was usually open. He knew about it and encouraged it.“
EXCLUSIVE: No 10 staff held ‘wine-time Fridays’ throughout pandemic with Boris Johnson regularly witnessing the gatherings.
Sources say PM encouraged aides to "let off steam" despite indoor socialising being banned under lockdown rules.https://t.co/wNUdlDik1F
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) January 14, 2022
Meanwhile, another said: “He could see everyone sitting there drinking as he walked up.
“He would come in and say ‘Hello everyone had a hard week? Letting off some steam? Oh great’.
“The idea that he didn’t know there were drinks is total nonsense. If the PM tells you to ‘let off steam’, he’s basically saying this is fine.”
In response to the Mirror allegations, a Number 10 spokesperson told Sky News: "There is an ongoing investigation to establish the facts around the nature of gatherings, including attendance, setting and the purpose with reference to adherence to the guidance at the time.
"The findings will be made public in due course."
The Mirror report comes after Downing Street apologised to the Queen after two parties were held on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral - in which the Queen was forced to sit alone due to Covid lockdown rules.