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UK government garden party before Prince Philip's funeral: report details wine, pizza, and a slide


A new report details the wild garden party British government employees held at Downing Street the night before Queen Elizabeth buried her husband during strict COVID-19 lockdown protocols. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced a quickly spiraling disaster for his administration after news emerged last year that government ministers and employees held holiday parties during a very strict lockdown period around Christmas in 2020. 

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Rules at the time mandated that individuals could not socialize indoors except “with your household or support bubble.” 

FILE - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a coronavirus media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Jan. 4, 2022. For Boris Johnson, facts have always been flexible. The British prime minister’s career is littered with doctored quotes, tall tales, exaggerations and mistruths. When called out, he has generally offered an apologetic shrug or a guilty grin, and moved on. At least until now. Revelations that the prime minister and his staff partied while Britain was under coronavirus restrictions has provoked public outrage. (Jack Hill, Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a coronavirus media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Jan. 4, 2022. For Boris Johnson, facts have always been flexible. The British prime minister’s career is littered with doctored quotes, tall tales, exaggerations and mistruths. When called out, he has generally offered an apologetic shrug or a guilty grin, and moved on. At least until now. Revelations that the prime minister and his staff partied while Britain was under coronavirus restrictions has provoked public outrage. (Jack Hill, Pool Photo via AP, File)

The government last week confirmed the existence of another party on April 16, 2021, the night before Prince Philip’s funeral. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was “deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning. No 10 has apologized to the Palace.”

But a new report in The Telegraph details the less-than-somber tone around the prime minister’s headquarters on the night. 

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Queen Elizabeth sat alone in church while she mourned the loss of her husband, but around 30 Downing Street employees gathered to say goodbye to a photographer and a director of communications. 

Party attendees drank wine, ordered four large pizzas to share, and took turns going down a slide belonging to Johnson’s son, Wilf, according to eyewitness accounts and photos reviewed by The Telegraph. Someone spilled wine on a copy machine and almost damaged the laptop that served as the jukebox for the evening. 

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sits alone in St. George's Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday, April 17, 2021.  (Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP, File)

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sits alone in St. George’s Chapel during the funeral of Prince Philip, the man who had been by her side for 73 years, at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England, Saturday, April 17, 2021.  (Jonathan Brady/Pool via AP, File)

The party started as two different going-away events and then merged in the garden and lasted until 1 a.m. Slack, who now serves as deputy editor of The Sun, apologized “unreservedly” for the party. 

A spokesperson for the prime minister claims that Johnson attended neither event and spent the day at Chequers Court, the country home of the sitting prime minister, but an independent investigation into the matter may still turn up new evidence to complicate matters. 

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Johnson cannot afford any further scandal as the parties have thus far damaged his reputation with the British public. His insistence to push through further restrictions in the face of an omicron variant surge also destroyed his popularity in the Conservative Party, with around 100 Conservative ministers voting against his “Plan B” restrictions in a devastating rebuke of his leadership. 

Johnson admitted that he attended a drinks event during the first lockdown of the pandemic, and rumors continue to swirl that he authorized and attended events during the 2020 holiday season lockdown.

In this photo issued by UK Parliament, Britain's Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday Dec. 8, 2021. (Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament via AP)

In this photo issued by UK Parliament, Britain’s Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, London, Wednesday Dec. 8, 2021. (Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament via AP)

Former Conservative cabinet minister David Davis Wednesday morning addressed the House of Commons and told Johnson, “In the name of God, go.” 

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Six Conservative ministers have publicly declared no confidence in Johnson’s stewardship, with more ministers believed to have submitted letters of no confidence to party leadership. 

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