One of the parties was for James Slack, Johnson’s director of communications, while the other was for a photographer. Around 30 people attended the combined events, which merged during the night, and Johnson was not at Downing Street at the time, according to reports.
Meanwhile, there was music, alcohol and a source claims a member of staff even broke Wilf Johnson’s swing. The next day, a photo of the Queen sitting alone at her husband’s funeral, due to the rules in place at the time, tugged on the nation’s heartstrings.
A No 10 spokesperson commented on Slack’s leaving party and told the Telegraph: “On this individual’s last day he gave a farewell speech to thank each team for the work they had done to support him, both those who had to be in the office for work and on a screen for those working from home.”
Meanwhile, Slack apologised for the event:
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Downing Street had said sorry to the Palace following the reports.
The spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and No 10 has apologised to the Palace.
“You heard from the PM this week, he’s recognised No 10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for things we did not get right.”
Asked why No 10 had apologised rather than Boris Johnson himself, the spokesman said: “Well, again, the Prime Minister said earlier misjudgments have been made and it’s right people apologise, as the PM did earlier this week.
“It remains the case that I can’t prejudge the inquiry, which you know is ongoing, which has been led by Sue Gray, but we acknowledge the significant public anger, it was regrettable this took place a time of national mourning.”