Only the Johnsons and the Sunaks will be allowed access to the outside area of Downing Street after the notorious “bring your own booze” bash
Boris Johnson has banned staff from socializing in the Downing Street garden as the beleaguered Prime Minister tries to move on from Partygate.
According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, the PM has limited the No10 outside space to ‘residents only’.
It means only he and his wife, Carrie, along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata – and the two couples’ children and dogs – will be allowed access to the garden without prior approval.
No10 has confirmed that the Prime Minister had been sent a questionnaire by Met Police cops investigating rule-busting parties at Downing Street.
Among them is the notorious a ‘bring your own booze’ drinks party in the No10 garden on May 20 2020.
A source told the paper: “The order has gone out that it is for use by principals only – those who live there.
“No longer will the garden be used as a sort of social spillover party venue. But it’s a bit annoying because even smokers won’t be allowed to use it.”
The Prime Minister is scrambling to use Commons recess this week to shore up support among MPs, heading out on tour to promote the Government’s “levelling up” agenda.
Downing Street is braced for the Met’s report into gatherings, which is expected in early March.
No 10 said he will start the week with a visit to a manufacturing site in Scotland before heading to an oncology center tackling coronavirus backlogs in the North West of England.
Mr Johnson said: “I’m getting out of London this week and taking a simple message with me – this Government is getting on with the job of uniting and leveling up the country.
“Access to good healthcare, a good education, skilled work, reliable transport – none of this should depend on where you live. We’re changing the rules of the game to put fairness back at the heart of the system and focusing on the priorities that really matter to people.
“This is our mission and we’re getting on with delivering it.”
Traveling north of the border will present its own challenges, with his ally Jacob Rees-Mogg having accused Douglas Ross of being “lightweight” after the Scottish Tory leader called for Mr Johnson’s resignation.
The calls for the Prime Minister to go will only grow louder and more widespread if he cannot convince police he was not in breach of regulations at up to six events.
As he employs the help of personal lawyers, the Telegraph cited Mr Johnson’s allies in reporting he plans to argue he was working in his official Downing Street flat on the night of the alleged “Abba party” in November 2020.
The Times said that even if he is fined he will not resign, in a move that would be likely to trigger Tory MPs to force a vote of confidence in his leadership.
Scotland Yard says the questionnaires ask for an “account and explanation of the recipient’s participation in an event” and have “formal legal status and must be answered truthfully”.
Fifteen Tory MPs have publicly called for Mr Johnson to quit, while more are thought to have privately written to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories calling for a no-confidence vote.
More are poised to do so if the Prime Minister is found to have broken his own coronavirus laws, or further damaging details emerge from the Sue Gray inquiry.