DOWNING Street has refused to deny that its staff held a boozy party late into the night before the Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral.

Reports said that two events were held on the same night, that one staffer was sent up the road with an empty suitcase to smuggle more alcohol in, and the merged party got so rowdy that one reveller broke a swing belonging to Wilf - the Prime Minister and Carrier Johnson’s young child.

There was reportedly music played in the No 10 basement, and occasional dancing as a crowd of around 30 staff partied into the night.

Boris Johnson is said to have been away from Downing Street at the time.

No 10’s former director of communications, James Slack, has admitted that the party did happen and said he wants to “apologise unreservedly for the anger and hurt caused”.

READ MORE: Met Police won't investigate No 10 party despite PM admitting he was there

The party was held to mark his leaving Downing Street in April 2021, which he said “should not have happened at the time that it did”.

Slack is now the deputy editor of the Sun. He was replaced as Downing Street director of communications by Jack Doyle, a former Daily Mail associate editor for politics.

The two events were held in April last year, while the Queen was mourning the passing of Prince Philip.

The parties will be within the scope of Sue Gray's investigation into Covid rule-breaking on Downing Street, but reports say that internal inquiry is expected to exonerate staff and Johnson of any criminal wrongdoing. 

The Telegraph reported that advisers and civil servants gathered after work for two separate events on April 16, 2021. The party reportedly went on well past midnight.

The Queen attended the funeral of her husband of 74 years on April 17, wearing a face mask and socially distanced from her family at Windsor Castle in line with Covid restrictions.

At the time, Government guidance stated: “You must not socialise indoors except with your household or support bubble. You can meet outdoors, including in gardens, in groups of six people or two households.”

The National:

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “On this individual’s [James Slack’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.”

The spokesperson offered no further comment on the allegations that a farewell gathering was held for the PM’s personal photographer.

The news comes after the London Metropolitan Police once again refused to investigate any lockdown breaches at No 10.

These reports have added pressure on the force, with many questioning how the staffer sent to fill a suitcase with wine at the local shop managed to get past the copious security on the Downing Street gates without arousing suspicion. 

Commenting, human rights barrister Adam Wagner wrote: “This is obviously a culture. We now have reports of parties from May 2020 to April 2021, pretty regularly. What a breakdown of responsibility, accountability and leadership.”

SNP president Michael Russell shared Wagner’s view on Twitter, adding: “Key point. The culture at No 10 set by the Prime Minister. His staff believed the rules (pandemic and life) applied to everyone but them.

“It was the Bullingdon Club writ large - entitled, arrogant, cruel and never (they thought) called to account.”

Russell’s reference was to the private all-male dining club for Oxford University students known for hedonistic behaviour, of which Boris Johnson was once a member.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: Scotland will not be any better off if Boris Johnson goes

Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “The Queen sitting alone, mourning the loss of her husband, was the defining image of lockdown. Not because she is the Queen, but because she was just another person, mourning alone like too many others.

“Whilst she mourned, Number 10 partied. Johnson must go.”

His comments were echoed by Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, who wrote on Twitter: “The Queen sat alone in mourning like so many did at the time with personal trauma and sacrifice to keep to the rules in the national interest.

“I have no words for the culture and behaviours at number 10 and the buck stops with the PM.”

Fran Hall, from Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: “If your neighbours had behaved like this, you’d have been disgusted. For the people running the country to do it and then lie about it, shows a complete disdain for the general public.

“We shared the same pain of grieving in isolation as the Queen did. And she must be just as sickened as we are at hearing this. Sadly, instead of doing the decent thing and resigning, we can expect the Prime Minister to continue shamefully lying to our faces.

“The Conservative MPs that are keeping him in power disgrace their country.”

The news came as Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, was the latest to publicly announce he had submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister on Thursday night.

He was the fifth MP to say he had written to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, calling for a vote on the PM’s future as head of the party.

Bridgen told BBC Newsnight: “With a heavy heart, I have written a letter to Sir Graham Brady indicating that I have no confidence in the Prime Minister and calling for a leadership election.”

The Telegraph reported that as many as 30 letters have been submitted so far. A total of 54 are needed to trigger a vote.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, who is also MP, has said he will be writing his own letter.