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Boris Johnson's arrogance on full display with his 'joke' about leaving do party

Boris Johnson allegedly joked he was at ‘the most unsocially distanced party in the UK’ while at a No 10 leaving do during the pandemic.

The former prime minister is facing a parliamentary investigation into whether he misled MPs over the partygate scandal.

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson did not deny the comment but said he ‘worked constantly’ to ensure the government did all it could to save lives.

ITV News reports the comments were made as staff gathered around to hear him toast the outgoing director of communications, Lee Cain, in November 2020.

At the time, there was a second national lockdown which banned indoor gatherings except for in circumstances such as ‘work purposes’.

Sue Gray ruled the November event was not pre-planned but occurred during ‘wine time Friday’, an event which routinely took place at No 10.

The comment is part of a number of allegations made in a new podcast, Partygate: The Inside Story.

It reports a source said: ‘I was working late – some music came on, the mumbling sort of rose, and there were loads of people stood around, but this time I came out because I heard the prime minister speaking and that’s when I heard the quote: “This is the most unsocially distanced party in the UK right now,” and everyone was laughing about it.’

He was fined for attending his own birthday celebrations in June 2020, rather than the alleged party the ITV source mentions.

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: ‘During the Covid-19 pandemic Boris Johnson led our country through its most dangerous peacetime crisis in living memory.

‘As prime minister during a 24/7 national emergency he worked constantly to ensure the government did everything possible in its power to save lives and protect livelihoods.

‘Mr Johnson pays heartfelt tribute to the heroic frontline workers who battled the pandemic, many of whom lost their lives.

‘Their service to our country will always be remembered.

‘He is also incredibly grateful for the efforts of hardworking staff who were working in central government – the vast majority of them civil servants – who helped co-ordinate the UK’s national response from 10 Downing Street, across Whitehall and throughout the wider UK government.

‘Their work was crucial as they helped marshal the UK government’s response during a national emergency.’

But Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain said: ‘These shocking revelations confirm Boris Johnson’s total disregard for the rules he asked us all to follow. He laughed and partied while the rest of the country suffered.

‘Conservative MPs should be ashamed that they backed Johnson for so long and that some are even considering putting him back in No 10.

‘Rishi Sunak must agree to give evidence under oath to the partygate inquiry about everything he knows about rule-breaking in No 10, including reports that files were shredded. After all their sacrifices, the British people deserve the truth, not more lies and cover-ups.’

Among other claims in the podcast are how staff ‘corroborated their stories’ before filling out Metropolitan Police questionnaires.

The report also suggests a No 10 party on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service in April 2021 was even more wild than previously thought.

It is claimed at least two couples were ‘getting it on with each other’ and ‘touching each other up’, and two other members of staff were ‘all over each other’ in a kitchen area.

The podcast reports only half of the parties which occurred were ever investigated by Ms Gray.

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