DOWNING Street insiders have revealed damning details about a culture of blatant law-breaking during the Covid lockdown, overseen by Boris Johnson.

In bombshell testimony to the BBC, three people who attended Number 10 parties say they were scheduled like clockwork every Friday at 4pm.

They allege that the Prime Minister encouraged and participated in the events in an effort to boost his popularity – and say they were shocked by his denials of wrongdoing in Parliament.

The insiders have also revealed that a Downing Street security guard was mocked for trying to break up one of the parties.

The report ramps up the pressure on the Tory leader after ITV published photographs of him leading a toast for departing communications chief Lee Cain at a bash on November 13, 2020.

A source told the BBC that Johnson made a speech at the event, adding "there were about 30 people, if not more, in a room. Everyone was stood shoulder to shoulder, some people on each other's laps … one or two people”.

Such parties were commonplace. "They were every week," an insider said. "The event invites for Friday press office drinks were just nailed into the diary."

They were referred to as “WTF" – “Wine-Time Friday".

At another infamous event on April 16 2021, the night before the Queen sat along at Prince Philip’s funeral, the sources describe a "lively event ... a general party with people dancing around". Such was the noise level that security staff asked them to move to the No 10 garden.

The insiders told the BBC they recognise that the parties were "unforgivable".

The National: The Queen after taking her seat for the funeral of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

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"So everyone grabbed all the drinks, the food, everything, and went into the garden," one source said. "We all sat around the tables drinking. People stayed the night there."

On another occasion, a Downing Street security guard, known as a custodian, was mocked for trying to interrupt a party. "I remember when a custodian tried to stop it all and he was just shaking his head in this party, being like, 'This shouldn't be happening'."

"People made fun of him because he was so worked up that this party was happening and it shouldn't be happening."

The sources admit they saw Downing Street as “our own bubble" where the rules didn’t apply.

"Everything just continued as normal,” they explained. “Social distancing didn't happen. We didn't wear face masks. It wasn't like the outside world."

They allege the culture of rule-breaking was encouraged by Johnson, who "wanted to be liked" and for staff to be able to "let their hair down".

“He was there,” they explained. "He may have just been popping through on the way to his flat because that's what would happen. You know, he wasn't there saying this shouldn't be happening.

"He wasn't saying, 'Can everyone break up and go home? Can everyone socially distance? Can everyone put masks on?'

"No, he wasn't telling anybody that. He was grabbing a glass for himself."

On Johnson’s denials in Parliament, when he insisted the Covid rules had been followed at all times, the insider described their shock.

"We were watching it all live and we just sort of looked at each other in disbelief like – why?" they said.

"Why is he denying this when we've been with him this entire time, we knew that the rules had been broken, we knew these parties happened?"

One former staffer says younger workers "did not think they were breaking the rules at the time because the prime minister was at [the events], some of the most senior civil servants in the country were at them - and were indeed organising some of them".

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No 10 declined to comment on the BBC story.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: "We saw it as our own bubble, where the rules didn't really apply, says one.

"A picture of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street as a parallel universe. Who will defend his rotten culture?"

It comes after Downing Street denied Johnson suggested to Sue Gray that she should drop her report into lockdown parties in Whitehall.

The Times reported that the Prime Minister asked the senior civil servant whether there was any point in publishing the report now the facts were “all out there” at a meeting earlier this month.

However the PM's official spokesman said: “This was a legitimate meeting about the process rather than the contents of the report.

“The Prime Minister did not ask her to drop the report or not proceed with the report.

“The Prime Minister commissioned the report, initially by the Cabinet Secretary, and wants it to be published.”

The spokesman said that he understood that the report would be published “in the coming days”.

Following a Metropolitan Police investigation, Johnson only received a single fine for breaching lockdown rules with his 56th birthday gathering.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve said the forces decision not to fine Johnson over the leaving party is “incomprehensible”.

The ex-Conservative MP told BBC News: “I certainly think the police decision is incomprehensible. If, as suggested, they fined other participants attending this party then I just can’t see how the Prime Minister wasn’t fined as well.

“I would have to ask the police for their reasoning on this, I do find it extraordinary.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was “angry” to see the photographs that were published by ITV but suggested the Prime Minister may not have been fined over the event because he left the leaving do “pretty quick”.

The Tory minister pointed to Johnson’s red ministerial box being present in the images as he claimed to Sky News the Prime Minister was “clearly not” partying.

“It looks to me like he goes down on his way out of the office and thanks the staff and raises a glass, and doesn’t in his mind recognise it as a party,” Shapps said.