Dominic Cummings makes fresh claim of rule-breaking drink at No. 10 Garden

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Ominic Cummings has made a new allegation of a possible lockdown-breaking party in Downing Street’s garden after a “senior number 10 officer” invited people to a “social distancing drink” in May 2020.

The Whitehall investigation into claims of social distancing rule-breaching incidents to slow the spread of the coronavirus was expanded on Friday after Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser accused him.

Mr Cummings said he had warned at the time that the incident “seemed to be against the rules and should not happen” but said it was pursued after being ignored.

She said she wrote the warning in an email that could be traced to senior civil servant Sue Gray as she investigates a string of allegations of party breaking rules in Downing Street.

It was understood that his investigation had been expanded to include the new claim relating to 20 May 2020, as well as a leaked photo of a garden gathering five days earlier that showed the prime minister and staff cheese during the first lockdown. and sat around the wine.

Ms Gray replaced Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to lead the Whitehall investigation after allegations of an incident within her own office surfaced.

In a lengthy blog post on Friday, Mr Cummings insisted there was nothing “illegal or immoral” about the May 15 gathering.

But the Vote Leave veteran, who left Downing Street in November 2020 amid a bitter power struggle within No 10, wrote: “On Wednesday 20 May, a week after this photo, a senior No 10 official told people Invited for a ‘socially distant drink’. Garden.”

Mr Cummings said he and at least one other special adviser “said it seemed against the rules and should not be”, adding that he issued the warning “in writing so Sue Gray dug up the original email”. can”.

“We were ignored. I was sick and went to bed early that afternoon but I was told the incident had definitely happened,” he continued.

Dominic Cummings said he warned against the incident happening (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) , Average PA

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