New Partygate WhatsApp messages present No10 aides planning ‘a little bit of a celebration’ days into lockdown

Unpublished WhatsApp messages reveal Downing Street aides deliberate “a bit of a party” in No10 throughout a supposedly digital Christmas quiz. The Sunday Mirror has revealed WhatsApp messages not included in Sue Gray’s report present aides planning to participate within the quiz in particular person virtually a month forward of time – and referring to it explicitly as a “party”.

In a workers WhatsApp chat on 15 November 2020 simply 10 days into the second nationwide lockdown, an aide requested if colleagues needed to arrange a group for the quiz, saying: “We can dial in from press office, make it a bit of a party.” Another aide replied: “V up for this.”

It was revealed in January dozens of political workers and civil servants took half within the quiz on 15 December 2020 in particular person. Boris Johnson himself hosted a spherical of questions on the quiz from a No10 workplace, flanked by aides draped in tinsel and with a bottle of fizz seen on the desk in entrance of him.

READ MORE: London Tory MP fears Conservatives ‘may lose subsequent election as a result of Boris Johnson’s rule breaking’

The Mirror broke the story at Christmas – kicking off months of forwards and backwards resulting in Sue Gray’s report

And Sue Gray’s report confirmed additional Sunday Mirror’s reviews that there was “drunkenness” on the occasion, with a senior member of workers warning colleagues to go away via Downing Street’s again gate to keep away from being seen by journalists. The Met mentioned in February they had been “reviewing” their determination to not examine the celebration, based mostly on footage printed by the Mirror.

But the Sue Gray report confirmed it was not investigated, as a result of officers didn’t imagine it reached “the threshold for criminal investigation.” It comes as junior No10 workers had been left in “raging apoplexy” after carrying the can for Partygate, whereas senior colleagues bought away scot-free.

Sources instructed the Mirror junior civil servants had been “open and honest” with Sue Gray’s probe – and had been fined after she handed their information to Scotland Yard. But they imagine some senior workers had been “more circumspect” with their proof to Ms Gray, and escaped fines from the Met in consequence.

Met performing chief Sir Stephen House insisted they weren’t “put off” by members of workers not being forthcoming or returning police questionnaires. He instructed the London meeting on Thursday: “I’d say that was a spur for more work, not less. I think the vast majority did return questionnaires and the vast majority of people have paid the fixed penalty notice.”

But one supply mentioned there was nonetheless seething anger amongst civil servants. “Most people were not involved, most people were not getting drunk,” they instructed the Mirror. “We’re all tainted by this even if we did nothing wrong.”

Meanwhile, Dominic Cummings revealed for the primary time that he didn’t obtain a hard and fast penalty discover for his time at No10 – and was not contacted by the police. The former high aide mentioned the Met “didn’t even send a questionnaire or email asking for evidence”.

A No10 spokesperson mentioned: “As a part of their impartial investigation the Cabinet Office group had been in a position to converse to No 10 workers to ascertain the information on what occurred throughout this era. Both they and the Metropolitan Police have had entry to all info related to their investigations. This has now accomplished and Sue Gray’s report has been printed establishing the information.”

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