Cummings says No10 Xmas party photos will 'inevitably get out' and bring down Boris

10 December 2021, 13:10 | Updated: 10 December 2021, 13:46

Dominic Cummings said pictures of the alleged Christmas party at No10 "will get out".
Dominic Cummings said pictures of the alleged Christmas party at No10 "will get out". Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Photographic evidence exists of the No10 Christmas party which was allegedly held during Tier 3 lockdown restrictions, the prime minister's former chief adviser has claimed.

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Dominic Cummings, who was ordered to leave Downing Street in November last year after breaching Covid rules by taking a trip to Durham, 264 miles from his London home, has claimed there are "lots of pictures" of the alleged parties.

On Twitter, Mr Cummings said the photos will "inevitably get out", adding that there are "invite lists beyond No10, to other departments".

Mr Cummings also said he thought Mr Johnson probably knew about the 18 December event at the centre of the scandal and predicted the prime minister would “be gone before the next election”.

Pressure is mounting on the prime minister after it was revealed by ITV News on Thursday that Jack Doyle, who was deputy director of communications at No 10 at the time, addressed up to 50 people at the gathering.

Read more: Boris backlash: Three parties probed as pressure grows on PM over Xmas scandal

It is understood he spoke to the press office to thank them for their work, as he did every week, and presented some awards to mark the team's efforts.

Mr Cummings, in a question and answer event for subscribers to his blog, suggested Mr Doyle is a “gonner”.

He claimed Mr Johnson “will be thinking ‘not now, gotta keep him as the sacrifice for Case’s inquiry then – I’m shocked, shocked I tell you to discover there was a party and I was misled – do a deal with Jack to keep all the wallpaper horror buried’.”

Read more: Polls in freefall as sleaze allegations and Christmas party storm hit PM

He was also asked: "Did the Prime Minister know about/attend the party, however fleetingly?"

He responded: "He knew but I think did not attend, tho remember the geography - to get upstairs he has to walk past that area where he could see it - if he was not Chequers..."

It is not clear which alleged gathering Mr Cummings was referring to.

He also claimed Mr Johnson was "lying" when answering questions about the alleged parties.

He said: "There were invites sent across Whitehall, it was an organised party.

"The trolley knew this and tried to lie his way out but was fkd (sic) by the video."

Read more: PM’s spokeswoman Allegra Stratton tearfully quits over Xmas party video leak

An inquiry, led by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, will scrutinise two reported Downing Street parties held on November 27 and December 18 alongside one party held at the education department on December 10.

It comes after a leaked video showed Mr Johnson's aides joking about the December 18 party, despite ministers insisting that it did not take place and Covid rules were not broken.

Allegra Stratton, the PM's spokeswoman who was seen in the footage, announced her resignation on Wednesday, issuing an apology to those who have lost loved ones to the disease.

She said she will "regret" her remarks for the rest of her days, adding it was "never" her intention to make light of the rules.

Read more: Minister: People can work at pub with pals but not the office - under 'crazy' Plan B rules

Read more: More evidence will emerge of Downing Street Christmas party, says former top cop

Boris Johnson has also issued a grovelling apology for the video which he says "sickened" him.

He claims he was "furious" to see the clip - but has still denied a Christmas party took place.

Mr Johnson told MPs in the Commons: "I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures, and I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules because I was also furious to see that clip.

"I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives.

"But I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured."

Read more: 'Are you able to say that Boris Johnson will be in post this time next year?'

There have been calls for the prime minister to resign following the Christmas party scandal, with Sir Keir Starmer claiming he is "unfit for office".

Sir Keir told The Telegraph MPs must think about whether they wanted to "endure this for the next two years", accusing the prime minister of forcing his MPs to 'degrade themselves' by 'defending the indefensible'.

"He’s unfit for office, it isn’t going to change," Sir Keir told the paper.

"Are they going to do something about it?"

He later tweeted: "Boris Johnson is unfit to lead our country."