UK's Labour calls for probe of another party at PM Johnson's No. 10 flat

The alleged event was not mentioned in a report into lockdown breaches that was published last week. PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife should be investigated over allegations of another breach of lockdown laws that wasn't covered by last week's government report into the Partygate scandal, the main opposition Labour Party said.

Labour's Deputy Leader Angela Rayner called on the Cabinet Office to look into reports that Ms Carrie Johnson organised a gathering on the evening of her husband's birthday in 2020 with a group of friends at their Downing Street flat.

The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that the Cabinet Office, which oversees government operations, has been given text messages sent by the Prime Minister's wife that appear to show that she was in the flat with several friends on the evening of June 19.

The alleged event was not mentioned in the report by senior civil servant Sue Gray into lockdown breaches that was published last week.

Mr Johnson became the first sitting British prime minister found to have broken the law when he was fined for attending a birthday party in No. 10 earlier the same day.

Under then Covid-19 regulations, indoor socialising was banned, but exemptions were available for work purposes.

A spokesperson for Ms Carrie Johnson told The Sunday Times that Ms Gray was "aware of the exchanges as part of her exhaustive inquiry into alleged breaches".

In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, Ms Rayner urged him to publish the text messages and pass them on to Parliament's privileges committee, which is investigating whether Mr Johnson deliberately misled MPs in his statements about lockdown parties.

If the Prime Minister was found to have deliberately misled MPs that would, in theory at least, be a resigning matter.

There is a "very genuine public interest in getting to the truth", Ms Rayner said in her letter to Mr Case.

The committee may also examine the so-called "Winner takes It All" Abba party that allegedly took place on Nov 13, 2020, following the departure of controversial aide Dominic Cummings.

Ms Gray didn't look into the event as part of her inquiry.

Since Ms Gray published her report last Wednesday, a further nine Conservative MPs have publicly come out against Mr Johnson's leadership, taking the total who have called for him to go to 24.

Many more have complained privately about his premiership. It would take 54 letters of no confidence to prompt a vote in his leadership.

Those letters are submitted privately, making Mr Graham Brady who collects them, the only Tory MP with a clear picture of how much danger Mr Johnson is in.

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