Boris Johnson was “clearly not partying” in Partygate pictures

Grant Shapps, Sky News

May 23, 2022

Facts

Asked if Mr Johnson misled Parliament over Partygate, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News: “The question was was he down there partying - no, clearly not.

“He’d gone by to say thanks and raise a glass to a colleague who was leaving.” 

This came after an image of Boris Johnson surrounded by Downing Street staffers raising their glasses emerged. Johnson is seen raising a glass of wine in front of a table strewn with bottles of wine and spirits. At least nine people – including the photographer – appear to be in the same room. In another photo, Johnson gesticulates as he gives a speech, with his ministerial red box on the chair in front of him.

Multiple alcohol bottles can also be seen in the picture. 

Journalist Jessica Elgot disagreed with Mr Shapps: “Shapps says that PM walked down and said cheers to a staff member who was leaving. But that’s not exactly what those present have told us (and others). They say Johnson instigated the leaving speech, poured drinks and gathered people round.”

Verdict

Grant Shapps’ defence of the Prime Minister does not add up. 

We approached Grant Shapps’ office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.

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