The prime minister’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, is said to have begun to regret sending the garden party email shortly after he sent it

The headache this has caused would suggest this regret is justified…
Reynolds email told 100 staff said:

“After what has been an incredibly busy period we thought it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening”
At the time, England was in a full lockdown, with people barred from leaving their homes unless there was a “reasonable excuse.”

“When that email from Martin dropped we were all messaging each other saying ‘What the hell is Martin thinking?’,” a government source said Image
Reynolds was said to have become “panicky” but concluded that cancelling would be worse than pushing ahead because this would draw attention to his email.

That afternoon, staff began preparations
Officials and advisers began arriving shortly after 6pm. While many stayed away, about 40 came.

Many took up Reynolds’ suggestion in his email that they should “BYOB” – bring your own booze – taking a trip to the Tesco Express next to Westminster station
Two sources said that the prime minister attended, with one saying he was “wandering round gladhanding people”. Carrie Symonds, also attended and was said to have been drinking with Henry Newman, then an adviser to Michael Gove and now a senior figure in No 10 Image
One senior official at the event joked about the risk of surveillance by drones, which was viewed as a tacit admission that the rules were being breached Image
The events of that evening, and six other alleged parties in No 10 and Whitehall, are now the subject of an investigation by Sue Gray, a senior civil servant. “The inquiry will be much more serious than anyone realises,” one government source said
“In No 10 they seem to think they can ride it out, that either she will do a report that they can ignore or that it will have no teeth. They’re wrong. The problem is the entire top brass is implicated. It points to systemic rot”
Boris Johnson has now issued a “heartfelt” apology at prime minister’s questions after admitting that he attended the drinks event – but will it be enough?…
The PM chose the words of this apology carefully…
Do you think Boris Johnson should resign?

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