BORIS Johnson’s alleged naming of the bid to get him through the Downing Street Covid party row as “Operation Save Big Dog” has taken on a fresh twist – with it now claimed that staff had to set up a “puppy gate” because he refused to follow lockdown rules.

Recent days have seen fresh revelations about the boozy culture at Downing Street, including “wine-time Fridays” – which the Prime Minister witnessed on several occasions, according to the Daily Mirror.

Johnson is also said to have “encouraged” staff at the events to “let off steam” and attended a "handful" of the gatherings at points when indoor socialising was banned.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson 'encouraged' No 10 staff to drink every week during restrictions

Now, a staffer who worked for Johnson and Theresa May said the current Prime Minister fostered a culture where flouting lockdown rules filtered down from the top, according to the Times.

The source told of the second period Johnson spent in self-isolation, saying they had to trap him in his study with a “puppy gate” or he would mix with staff.

The National: Coronavirus – Mon May 25, 2020

They said: “I remember we had to create a ‘cat run’ for him to get down from the flat to his office so he wouldn’t come into contact with people.

“The idea was we could talk to him through the open door. But he kept on coming out so we put two chairs across the door like some kind of puppy gate.

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“There was a pattern throughout. He just simply did not think about following the rules. They were not for him.”

Johnson has reportedly been drawing up a list of officials who would stand down as part of an effort to save his skin amid mounting pressure.

He is said to have given this bid the title “Operation Save Big Dog”, according to The Independent.

His chief of staff Dan Rosenfield and his private secretary Martin Reynolds, who also sent the “BYOB” email that has brought fresh scrutiny on No 10, could both go.

The “wine-time” Fridays were said to be so popular that staff invested in a £142 drinks fridge, and took turns to visit the local Tesco Metro in Westminster to fill it up.