'Bring Your Own Booze' Party Organiser Leaves No.10 As Partygate Fallout Continues

Martin Reynolds was one of four top Number 10 aides to leave on day of drama in Downing Street.
Martin Reynolds, the principal private secretary to Boris Johnson, and Downing Street chief of staff Dan Rosenfield have both gone.
Martin Reynolds, the principal private secretary to Boris Johnson, and Downing Street chief of staff Dan Rosenfield have both gone.
PA News

The top civil servant who organised a ‘bring your own booze’ party in Downing Street during lockdown has quit Number 10.

Martin Reynolds, the principal private secretary to Boris Johnson, is one of four senior aides to leave Number 10 on another day of political drama.

He was joined by Downing Street chief of staff Dan Rosenfield, who was also forced out as the PM carries out a major shake-up of the Number 10 operation.

Their departures follow the resignation of Munira Mirza, Johnson’s policy chief, who dramatically resigned in protest at the prime minister wrongly accusing Keir Starmer of failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile when he was Director of Public Prosecutions.

The other aide to leave today was Jack Doyle, the Number 10 director of communications.

A No.10 spokesperson said: “Dan Rosenfield offered his resignation to the prime minister earlier today, which has been accepted.

“Martin Reynolds also informed the prime minister of his intention to stand down from his role as principal private secretary and the prime minister has agreed to this.

“He has thanked them both for their significant contribution to government and No 10, including work on the pandemic response and economic recovery.

“They will continue in their roles while successors are appointed, and recruitment for both posts is underway.”

It is understood that Reynolds - dubbed “Party Marty” - will return to his previous job at the Foreign Office.

In a farewell speech to staff, Jack Doyle said: “Recent weeks have taken a terrible toll on my family life.”

The departures of Reynolds, Rosenfield and Doyle are part of Johnson’s attempts to re-structure Number 10 in response to the Sue Gray inquiry into the partygate scandal.

Earlier this week, her report blamed “failures of leadership and judgment” for lockdown-busting parties which took place in Downing Street and Whitehall.

The Metropolitan Police are investigating 12 alleged gatherings, including one in the flat Johnson shares with his wife and their two children.

The ongoing row has plunged his premiership into crisis, with a succession of Tory MPs publicly calling on him to resign.

A leaked email last month revealed Reynolds had invited more than 100 Downing Street employees to a get-together on May 20, 2020.

It said: “Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

The PM and his wife, Carrie, were both there, but he has insisted he believed it was a “work gathering” and therefore did not break the lockdown rules which were in place at the time.

The event, which was attended by around 30 members of staff, is also being investigated by the police.

In a Commons statement following the publication of the Sue Gray report, the prime minister vowed a major shake-up of Number 10.

He told MPs: We asked people across this country to make the most extraordinary sacrifices – not to meet loved ones, not to visit relatives before they died, and I understand the anger that people feel.

“But it isn’t enough to say sorry. This is a moment when we must look at ourselves in the mirror and we must learn.”

Johnson said a new office of the prime minister will be created with a new permanent secretary to lead No.10 to simplify the chain of command.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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