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HomeNewsBoris betrayal: Insiders point finger at 'viper' Cummings for 'masterminding leaks'

Boris betrayal: Insiders point finger at 'viper' Cummings for 'masterminding leaks'


One insider suggests there are more revelations to come courtesy of the former Downing Street chief of staff – while another suggested the Prime Minister had “nurtured a viper in his bosom”. Mr Cummings himself first drew attention to the BYOB party via a blog published on Substack earlier this month in which he said: “The inquiry should investigate the ‘Socially Distanced Drinks’ email sent on Wednesday 20 May 2020.”

The full email, sent by Martin Reynolds, Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary, to roughly 100 people, was subsequently obtained by ITV.

Recipients were invited to “socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden” with the message adding: “Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”

Further revelations have followed, including details of drinks held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral in April.

One well-placed Tory source told Express.co.uk they were confident Mr Cummings was behind the various leaks, saying Mr Johnson had “nurtured a viper to his bosom”.

The insider suggested the damage done to the PM was likely to prove fatal for his chances of staying in his job, saying: “He has been brought down.”

No obvious successor had yet emerged, but “Rishi and Liz both fancy their chances”, the source said, in reference to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss respectively.

READ MORE: Brexit Britain roars back as economist hails ‘positive momentum’

“He will have a lot on Carrie.”

Mr Johnson apologised in the Commons on Thursday for attending the party, which he insisted he had believed was a “work event”.

He is now awaiting the conclusions of civil servant Sue Gray, who is investigating various reports of parties and gatherings connected to Number 10.

With regard to Mr Johnson’s prospects of holding on to his job, Express.co.uk’s second source suggested Ms Gray’s report would cover the facts, by confirming the PM had attended for 25 minutes on May 20, rather than offering any legal opinion about whether he broke the law.

In his blog post, published on January 7, Mr Cummings said: “Obviously the PM has told multiple lies about parties in December 2020 and forced or encouraged others to tell the media untrue things.

“While it’s bad that he is lying about this and generally lying all the time, much worse than these lies has been his determination to a) keep rubbish people in critical positions, b) failing to prioritise preparations for variants throughout 2021 and encouraging everybody to think, as he did in September 2020, ‘covid’s over’.”

Express.co.uk has approached Mr Cummings for comment.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Johnson told MPs that he attended the event to “thank groups of staff” but “with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside”.

He added: “I believed implicitly that this was a work event.

“With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside.

“I should have found some other way to thank them.”



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