Yesterday it was revealed that a senior civil servant organised a drinks party in the Downing Street garden while the rest of the country endured strict lockdown rules.
A leaked email obtained by ITV News was sent by Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds to more than 100 employees in May 2020 at a time in which people could only meet one on one outside.
It said: “Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening.
“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”
ITV News claim around 40 people showed up and it is even alleged that the PM and his wife Carrie Johnson were among attendees but when Johnson was asked on Monday if he and his wife attended the party on 20 May, he replied: “All that, as you know, is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray” while Downing Street also told ITV News they would not comment on the story due to the Sue Gray inquiry.
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We are not here to speculate about who did or did not attend the party - egregious as it is that it occured. Instead, we wonder what a Downing Street BYOB party would look like and specifically, what ‘booze’ everyone would bring.
Here’s what we imagine Tory MPs would quaff if they went to the soiree.
Jacob Rees-Mogg - champagne
Jacob Rees-Mogg is a rather posh gentleman indeed with old-school manners. He would not turn up at a party empty handed and instead would bring the finest champagne he could find, though we can’t imagine him popping bottles in a garden.
Liz Truss - Echo Falls Rose
Truss has a hun quality about her as evidenced by her singing and dancing at last year’s Tory conference at a Manchester nightclub.
A hun needs a hun drink, then, so Truss will bring Echo Falls Rose and a few plastic wine glasses from the supermarket and really get the party started.
Mark Francois - Spitfire Ale/Doom Bar
This Brexit loving MP campaigned for Big Ben to bong to celebrate Brexit, has a self-published book called “Spartan Victory” about the event and has in the past used crude WW2 analogies when defending his views.
No doubt, then, he will sip on a Very British Beer like a Spitfire Ale or pint of Doom Bar and delight in the absence of foreign muck like San Miguel or - heaven forbid it - Estrella.
Michael Gove - Tequila
Given Gove has been known to hit the dancefloor after a few bevvies, we’d expect him to go straight for the strong stuff and knock back a few tequila shots at a party while everyone else is still politely sipping wine and remarking on the weather.
Joy Morrissey - Prosecco
In an extreme example of tidying the deckchairs on the Titanic, Morrissey campaigned for every household in the UK to get a photo of the Queen in June last year.
Given she is clearly such a fan of royalty, Morrissey might want to sip on Her Majesty’s new prosecco, which costs £15 a glass, at a party.
Charles Walker - Milk
In one of the more odd protests about lockdown measures we’ve seen, Charles Walker said in April last year that he would be cutting about London with a pint of milk in his hand, to somehow represent the “slide into authoritarianism” that he believes the third lockdown characterised.
What better place to mark the start of the protest than the Downing Street garden? And who knows - maybe Reynolds would have provided some biscuits to go with it.
Dominic Raab - Protein shake
Raab has a reputation for keeping fit. He holds a karate black belt and he also used to box at university. A party may sound fun to Raab but at what cost to his gains? It better be a protein shake to be on the safe side, then.
Nadine Dorries - Smoothie
Dorries is now the culture secretary and it was in 2012 when she fully immersed herself in British culture by appearing on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
Since participants are forced to eat insects and endure trials and tasks that must make standing up for Johnson seem a walk in the park, Dorries might like to feel at home with a cricket smoothie or something grim like that.
Boris Johnson - minesweep
So what would the Prime Minister himself drink if he attended a lockdown party? Wine? Beer? Vodka lemonades?
Since the PM would really be taking liberties if he attended such a party, we doubt he’d be polite enough to bring his own booze and would instead minesweep near empty glasses.
It’s that or a man of the people pint.