Boris Johnson Denies Dominic Cummings Warned Him Against No.10 Drinks Party

Prime minister "categorically" rejects suggestion he lied to parliament.
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Boris Johnson has denied he was warned by Dominic Cummings the drinks party held in the No.10 garden May 20, 2020 broke lockdown restrictions.

Johnson, who is under pressure to resign after he admitted to attending the gathering, has said he believed it to be a “work event”.

“Categorically nobody told me and nobody said that this was something that was against the rules,” he told broadcasters on Tuesday.

Johnson added that the “best of my recollection” ahead of the event “nobody told me that what we were doing was against the rules”.

But Cummings, who worked in No.10 at the time, has said he is willing to “swear under oath” that he warned the PM about the event.

The interview was Johnson’s his first public appearance in almost a week.

Asked if he had lied to parliament, he said: “No. I want to begin by repeating my apologies to everybody for the misjudgments that I’ve made, that we may have made in No. 10 and beyond, whether in Downing Street or throughout the pandemic.

“As I said in the House of Commons when I went out into that garden I thought that I was attending a work event.”

It came as as chancellor Rishi Sunak, seen as one of the favourites to take over as Tory leader if Johnson is forced out, refused to give the prime minister his unequivocal backing.

Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, is also likely to stand in any leadership contest. And Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, has also not ruled out a second shot at the top job.

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s deputy leader, said the interview showed Johnson “clearly knows it’s the end of the road”.

“He’s the prime minister, he set the rules, he didn’t need anyone to tell him that the party he attended broke them.

“If he had any respect for the British public, he would do the decent thing and resign.”


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