His revelation comes despite Mr Johnson telling Parliament the “bring your own booze” party was in fact a “work event”, which he had attended for 25 minutes to thank staff for all their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic. But Mr Cummings, now a fierce critic of Mr Johnson, urged the Tory leader to “admit” he broke the rules and resign.
He posted on Twitter: “Whole point of why I & other official told MR – *** YOU DOING HOLDING A PARTY – was cos the invite = obv totally SOCIAL NOT WORK (UNlike all the mtngs in garden).
“No way ‘technically within rules’.
“bulls*** cos altern is admit he broke rules + resign.(sic)”
On Monday, an email in which Mr Reynolds invited Downing Street staff to the gathering in May 2020 was leaked.
It is the latest of a string of leaks and reports about lockdown parties occurring in Number 10.
Up until now they have focused on the period surrounding Christmas 2020, when the country was under its second lockdown.
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“With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them.
“And I should have recognised that, even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there would be millions of people who simply would not see it that way, people who suffered terribly, people who were forbidden from meeting loved ones at all, inside or outside, and to them, and to this house, I offer my heartfelt apologies.
“And all I ask is that Sue Gray be allowed to complete her inquiry into that day and several others so that the full facts can be established and I will of course come back to this house and make a statement.”
Replying to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s calls for him to resign, Mr Johnson added: “I thought it was a work event and …I regret very much that we did not do things differently that evening, Mr Speaker, as I said, and I take responsibility and I apologise, Mr Speaker.
“But as for as for his political point, I don’t think that he should preempt the outcome of the inquiry.”
Mr Cummings resigned from his role as Brexit adviser to Mr Johnson following an explosive row with the Prime Minister in November 2020.
A dispute erupted over how Downing Street is run and the appointment of a new chief of staff to Mr Johnson