Boris Johnson dodges Commons grilling as minister says PM is 'going nowhere' over No 10 lockdown-busting party claims

BORIS Johnson dodged today's grilling on fresh claims he attended a lockdown-busting No10 drinks bash – but the minister sent in his place insisted the PM is "going nowhere".

Michael Ellis was instead despatched to face awkward questions about a "bring you own booze" gathering in Downing St that allegedly broke Covid rules.


The PM and Carrie reportedly attended the "socially distanced drinks" organised by top No10 official Martin Reynolds on May 20, 2020.

Just minutes before the 6pm gathering Brits had been told at a press conference to follow the rules by limiting outdoor gatherings to two people.

In a stormy Commons debate MPs scolded Mr Johnson for refusing to answer questions himself – and slammed him in his absence.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said Mr Johnson's no-show "speaks volumes" and branded it "incredibly disappointing".

Mr Ellis, the Paymaster General, was jeered as he was wheeled out on his behalf – with shouts of "where's the prime minister" from opposition MPs.

But refused to get into the details of the party because it's being probed by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

Scotland Yard have also made contact with the Cabinet Office opening the possibility of a police investigation.

But dismissing demands for the Mr Johnson to quit, Mr Ellis shot back: "The Prime Minister is going nowhere.

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"The Prime Minister retains the confidence of the people of this country and he did so two years ago with the biggest majority in decades."

Downing St was last night in crisis as a bombshell email emerged of Mr Reynolds inviting more than 100 No10 staff to after-work drinks.

The PM's spokesman this morning refused to say whether Mr Johnson had broken the law, but pointed to previous remarks claiming his innocence.

Yesterday Mr Johnson declined to comment whether he had attended the May 20 drinks.

Labour MPs let rip in the Commons chamber this lunchtime after the Speaker agreed Mr Johnson had questions to answer and allowed time for a debate.

Former Labour Minister Dame Angela Eagle said: "The Prime Minister should come here now, fess up and tell us what happened."

DUP MP Jim Shannon broke down in tears as he spoke of his late mother-in-law who "died alone" from Covid.

The latest allegations of rule-breaking come after several other claims of Downing St parties that breached Covid regulations.

Frustrated Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope fumed: "Why can't all the dirty linen be washed at once? Why are we getting this drip, drip feed of parties?

"Surely the Civil Service must have known that there was a party on May 20 and they should have referred it already to the inquiry?"

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