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Partygate: New photos appear to show Boris Johnson toasting colleague at Downing St drinks in lockdown

Photos have emerged of the prime minister drinking at a gathering allegedly during the second lockdown.

The photos, obtained by ITV News, show Boris Johnson holding a glass with at least six other people around a table with several empty wine bottles, biscuits and crisps.

In the series of photos, the group appear to be toasting someone as Mr Johnson speaks. There is also a red ministerial box on a chair.

The gathering is said to have taken place for a leaving do for the PM’s then-communication chief Lee Cain on 13 November 2020.

That was during the second national lockdown when people were only allowed to leave home for a limited number of reasons, including work if they could not work from home, and were not allowed to mix with other households inside.

On 8 December 2021, the PM was asked in parliament if there was a party in Downing Street on that day, to which he said: “No, but I am sure that whatever happened, the guidance was followed and the rules were followed at all times.”

Two events on that day were part of the Met Police’s investigation that finished last week, and while others were fined for unspecified events on that day, but the PM was not.

The Lib Dems have written to the police watchdog to demand they open an investigation into the Met’s partygate inquiry to establish how they reached a conclusion to not fine the PM for any event on 13 November 2020.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, accused Mr Johnson of lying over rule-breaking parties at Downing Street and said he has “demeaned his office”.

“While the British public were making huge sacrifices, Boris Johnson was breaking the law,” she said.

“Boris Johnson said repeatedly that he knew nothing about law-breaking – there’s no doubt now, he lied. Boris Johnson made the rules, and then broke them.”

Thangam Debonnaire, shadow leader of the House of Commons, told Sky News the PM should “do the decent thing” and resign because members of the public were adhering to the rules while he was “having a good time with his mates”.

The photos have emerged on what is possibly the eve of the Sue Gray report into lockdown breaching events in Downing Street and Whitehall, which is expected to provide more detail than the police investigation.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “The Cabinet Office and the Met Police have had access to all information relevant to their investigations, including photographs.

“The Met have concluded their investigation and Sue Gray will publish her report in the coming days, at which point the prime minister will address parliament in full.”

Parliament’s Privileges Committee is set to begin an investigation into whether Mr Johnson knowingly misled MPs by denying any knowledge of the parties.

If he is found to have done so this would mean he had broken the ministerial code and would usually be a resigning matter.

The Met Police said they would not be commenting further following the conclusion of their investigation last week.

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