New allegations surrounding the infamous Downing Street “partygate” scandal have revived public outrage after it came to light that government employees were having sex at the pandemic lockdown parties.
Multiple witnesses at the party, which started as a going-away party for some colleagues, allegedly saw two couples getting very intimate, with both couples disappearing for a time – one into a dark room from which they later emerged “flustered” and the other in an office “with the lights off,” The Times U.K. reported.
The new allegations follow a recent revelation that then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was attending “the most un-socially distance party in the U.K. right now,” though it is likely he referred to a different party.
Revelations around the “partygate” scandal gripped the British press for months and may have played a role in eventually pushing Johnson out of his job. The scandal involved dozens of government employees engaging in wild parties while the rest of the nation observed the strictest lockdown rules around the holiday season.
The government at the time had banned most indoor gatherings other than those for “work purposes.”
Queen Elizabeth II even had to sit alone in a church while attending her husband Prince Phillip’s funeral as she observed the government’s pandemic rules.
A spokesperson for Johnson told British news outlet ITV that “Boris Johnson led our country through its most dangerous peacetime crisis in living memory… 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.”
“The work of Downing Street staff was crucial as they helped marshal the U.K.’s response to a national emergency,” the statement added.
But Johnson faces a fresh inquiry into “partygate,” particularly focused on claims that there was “an aspect of getting rid of evidence,” according to The Daily Express. Guests may have taken pictures and then deleted them off social media over concerns that the photos would serve as incriminating evidence.
A committee investigating the parties and their numerous lockdown breaches will see public sessions to present evidence and findings.
The evening allegedly included a “suitcase of wine” that the party goers brought from a supermarket, and guests playing on a swing and slide that belonged to Johnson’s son.
An official that spoke with the ITV podcast raised concerns that most fines hit junior employees, claiming that the official directly involved “deserved to be fined.”
“I was there, and I’m ashamed of myself,” the official said, noting that most of the fines appeared to hit junior female employees who sent out emails and texts to help organize the event on behalf of their male bosses.