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Sue Gray report: Boris Johnson's aide boasted he 'got away with' organising drinks during lockdown

One of Boris Johnson’s closest aides boasted that he “got away with” organising drinks parties in Downing Street during lockdown.

Martin Reynolds, who was Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, told other Downing Street staff that the press seemed to have missed the parties going on during lockdown.

In one of dozens of e-mails between staff published in the Sue Gray report a No 10 special adviser emailed Martin Reynolds saying:“ Hi Martin,Thank you so much for organising these drinks and for providing the wine! A very kind thing to do and I know everyone really appreciated it.”

Martin Reynolds replied: “Thanks, it was lots of fun and nice to chat with everyone.”

This event was also referenced in a subsequent Whatsapp message on an unknown date from Martin Reynolds to a special adviser.

Martin Reynolds wrote: "Best of luck, a complete non story but better than them focusing on our drinks (which we seem to have got away with).”

At the height of the first lockdown on 20 May 2020, Reynolds sent a notorious “bring your own booze” email inviting those at 10 Downing Street to “make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks” in the garden.

Reynolds, who let his role as one of Number 10’s most senior officials in February, is being lined up as a candidate to become ambassador to Saudi Arabia, according to reports.

The e mail exchange is one of dozens of details in the 37 page Sue Gray report which also contains descriptions of cheese and wine events, Christmas quizzes, karaoke machines and altercations at lockdown parties in Downing Street.

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