Sue Gray's long-awaited report into lockdown breaches in government was published today - and said Boris Johnson must take responsibility.
The report packed with messages and nine photos - including of the PM - said junior officials felt "permitted" to attend rule-breaking events because "senior leaders" took part.
The report is stuffed with detail about how events were planned by staff, apparently in the full knowledge of how they would look to the law-abiding public.
The e-mail inviting people the 20 May 2020 ‘bring your own booze’ garden party at No10 went to 200 staff - not 100 as previously reported.
And a No10 special advisor messaged top aide Martin Reynolds beforehand saying: “Just to flag that the press conference will probably be finishing around that time, so helpful if people can be mindful of that as speakers and cameras are leaving, not walking around waving bottles of wine etc.”
On another date Mr Reynolds - who’s already been ousted from No10 - emailed an advisor saying: “A complete non story but better than them focusing on our drinks (which we seem to have got away with)”.
Other scathing details include that “one individual was sick” at a karaoke leaving do on 18 June 2020 for No10 official Hannah Young. And the PM personally brought the cheese and wine from his flat for a 'BYOB' bash.
Ms Gray wrote: "The events that I investigated were attended by leaders in government. Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen. It is also the case that some of the more junior civil servants believed that their involvement in some of these events was permitted given the attendance of senior leaders. The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture."
This breaking news story is being updated.
Boris Johnson is expected to give a statement to Parliament after PMQs at noon, followed by a press conference to the nation, and a speech to Tory backbench MPs.
Sources suggested the PM would apologise to the Commons for his single fine - received for his lockdown birthday party on 19 June 2020. But he would repeat his claim that he didn't know he was breaking the rules at the time - so didn't lie to Parliament.
Dozens of Tories have already called for him to quit, amid fevered speculation they could hit the 54 no-confidence letters needed to trigger a bid to topple the Prime Minister.
Senior Tory Tom Tugendhat said he was "talking to colleagues" about whether the PM should quit, adding: "Frankly, it's very difficult to have confidence in the government right now."
The 37-page report comes after a four-month investigation by Ms Gray into 16 gatherings in Downing Street and Whitehall - first exposed by the Mirror's Pippa Crerar.
The senior civil servant's interim report in January slammed "failures of leadership and judgement" in 10 Downing Street.
But it was shorn of names and key details after Scotland Yard launched a lengthy probe that led to 126 fines for 83 people - but only one fine for Boris Johnson.
Downing Street staff reacted with outrage after the PM was pictured raising a glass of fizz at a leaving do on 13 November 2020 that led to other fines, but the PM did not even receive a questionnaire in relation to the event.
Mr Johnson is also being investigated by the Commons Privileges Committee over whether he lied to Parliament - after he explicitly denied there was a No10 party on November 13.
Discussions are underway at Downing Street over the PM strengthening the ministerial code to boost the powers on his ethics advisor.
Lord Geidt has previously indicated he wants the power to independently launch investigations into potential rule breaches by ministers.
No 10 is also said to be debating whether to push a cost of living plan, pencilled in for Thursday, to next week so it doesn't get lost in the Partygate fall-out.
Originally a £10bn package had only been due after the Queen's Speech but those plans were torn up after Ofgem said energy bills were set to rise to £2,800 a year.
One senior Tory also suggested the PM would need to "change the subject" from Partygate.
Ms Gray investigated events on 12 dates, including some that were not included in Scotland Yard's inquiry.
- 15 May 2020 - a gathering in the Downing Street garden where staff were pictured with cheese and wine *
- 20 May 2020 - a BYOB bash in the Downing Street garden
- 18 June 2020 - a karaoke leaving do in the Cabinet Office to mark the departure of No10 official Hannah Young
- 19 June 2020 - a surprise birthday event for Boris Johnson in the Cabinet room in No10
- 13 November 2020 - 'Abba party' in the PM's No11 flat. Also a leaving do for No10 comms chief Lee Cain
- 27 November 2020 - a leaving do in Downing Street for special adviser Cleo Watson *
- 10 December 2020 - a gathering in the Department for Education ahead of the Christmas holiday *
- 15 December 2020 - a No10 online Christmas quiz *
- 17 December 2020 - an online Christmas quiz for the Cabinet Secretary’s private office. Also a leaving do in the Cabinet Office for Kate Josephs, a former director general of the Covid taskforce. Also a No10 leaving do for defence aide Captain Steve Higham
- 18 December 2020 - No10 Christmas party
- 14 January 2021 - a Prosecco-fueled leaving do two No10 private secretaries
- 16 April 2021 - Two leaving dos for No10 comms chief James Slack and a photographer in No10 on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral
It comes after bombshell claims that Boris Johnson suggested Sue Gray could just drop her Partygate report in a secretive meeting.
The Prime Minister - who is the Whitehall investigator's boss - met her this month after No10 officials said talks "may be something that she might want to consider."
No10 have refused to release any minutes. But it's now emerged Boris Johnson asked if there was "much point" in publishing her final verdict on lockdown parties after a police probe, the Times and Sky News reported.
The suggestion Boris Johnson tried to meddle with the inquiry piles fresh pressure after he was accused of lying to Parliament - due to photos of him raising a glass at a 13 November 2020 party he explicitly denied happened.
Cabinet ally Grant Shapps claimed the Prime Minister was "clearly not" partying at the leaving do for aide Lee Cain, telling Sky News: "He’d gone by to say thanks and raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving".
Mr Shapps also bizarrely excused the PM's behaviour because he "lost his mum during the period" - despite the fact Charlotte Johnson Wahl died 10 months after the photos were taken.
Sources later stressed he was talking about the Covid pandemic period as a whole, not the period in which No10 parties were taking place.