Boris Johnson 'shown holding can of beer at lockdown birthday party'

A photo of Boris Johnson with a can of beer at his lockdown birthday party in June 2020 is reportedly in the hands of police.

The mirror has revealed the Metropolitan Police have a picture of the Prime Minister standing next to the Chancellor Rishi Sunakholding a soft drink, in No10’s Cabinet Room.

Sources said Mr Johnson appeared to raise his can of Estrella beer towards the camera in a toast.

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The bomb image was believed to have been taken by Mr Johnson’s official, taxpayer-funded photographer, who was documenting the event.

It is believed to be one of 300 pictures given to the Metropolitan Police as evidence of irregular gatherings by senior officer Sue Gray.

These are believed to be photos taken at parties and those captured by security system cameras that show when people enter and exit buildings.

Several images are also believed to have been handed over to Scotland Yard by Official Photographer No. 10 Andrew Parsons.

Downing Street has admitted staff members “gathered briefly” at a surprise birthday party organized by Carrie Johnson – but said the PM only stayed 10 minutes.

But at the time, indoor social gatherings were still prohibited under lockdown laws as the country emerged from the first wave of the pandemic.

Attorney Adam Wagner, an expert on Covid laws, said: “The legal question for the Prime Minister is whether he attended the gathering.

“The fact that he was photographed with a beer in hand strongly suggests he did it and therefore committed an offense against the regulations.”

The picture shows the two senior politicians surrounded by Aid No. 10 in the cabinet room but without a birthday cake, sources said.

Ms Johnson led the top 30 staff in a chorus of Happy Birthday before eating picnic food from M&S, it has been claimed.

Lulu Lytle, the interior designer behind the lavish renovations of the Downing Street flat, also attended briefly.

The Chancellor is said to have attended the event as he turned up for a Covid meeting but had not been invited in advance.

Mr Sunak, who is being hotly debated as the next prime minister, admitted this week that the ‘Partygate’ row has damaged confidence in the government.

Initial reports that Mr Johnson had been “ambushed” with a birthday cake were later denied by his close allies.

Later in the evening, the Prime Minister and his wife were reported to have accommodated family friends in their upstairs flat in what appeared to be another breach of the rules.

Downing Street denied these claims, saying the Prime Minister instead hosted a small number of family members outside.

Mr Parsons, one of three official photographers funded by the taxpayer, is a regular presence at No 10, snapping snaps of the Prime Minister at some of his key moments.

These included the dramatic image of Mr Johnson roaring as the exit poll for his historic 2019 election victory was unveiled.

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “The Downing Street Photographer is funded by the taxpayer and the public has every right to see the photos they paid for, including the Prime Minister’s birthday celebrations.

“Following the Met Police investigation, Sue Gray’s report must be released in its entirety with all supporting evidence – photographs, video and testimony.”

A No10 spokesman admitted: “A group of staff working at No10 that day briefly gathered in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday.

“He was there less than ten minutes.”

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