‘How did he get away with this?’ What the papers say about new Johnson Partygate photos

·4 min read

Images have emerged of Boris Johnson raising a glass at a No 10 party during a national Covid lockdown, sparking fresh acrimony across the UK front pages on Tuesday.

The prime minister is facing fresh claims of lying to MPs after four pictures, first published by ITV News, showed him toasting a senior aide at a Downing Street leaving drinks event.

“Fresh danger for Johnson over No 10 drinks pictures”, the Guardian front page reads, alongside a photo of the prime minister raising his glass. The paper reported the Metropolitan police were under pressure too after Johnson escaped a fine despite attending the leaving do for director of communications Lee Cain.

The Mirror asks: “How did he get away with this?” in its headline, with a subhead saying: “Johnson pictured drinking champagne at office party during lockdown … but no fine.”

The Times goes with: “Partying PM ‘misled Commons’” and also displays the parliamentary exchange from last December in which the prime minister, when asked by the Labour MP Catherine West about events on the date in question, insisted “the rules were followed at all times”.

The Telegraph focuses on the Met’s response to the ongoing Downing Street scandal. “Pressure on Met over pictures of PM raising a toast in No 10,” its headline reads.

“Police asked why Johnson avoided Covid fine for aide’s lockdown leaving party that was ‘so obviously a breach’,” the paper adds.

The customarily loyal Express joins in focusing on the questions the police face over their inquiry, with its headline: “Nothing to see here! Yard says Boris broke no rules”. It notes that the Metropolitan police believe the prime minister was not partying at the leaving do.

Metro puns with “Lockdown in one, PM”, adding its own voice to the general query: “How did Boris not get fined for this booze-up?”

The Independent takes a slightly more matter-of-fact approach. “PM pictured drinking at lockdown party in No 10,” its headline reads.

“Lockdown party photos hit PM,” says the i, noting the PM is awaiting Tory and public reaction to the latest Covid revelation.

Staying away from the subject entirely, the Daily Mail opts to splash on a possible rail strike, warning of “power blackouts, petrol shortages and empty shelves” alongside a picture of the Queen riding in a buggy at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The Sun makes only a fleeting mention of the No 10 allegations, with its front page dedicated to an off-duty policewoman celebrating on the football pitch. Directing readers to a page six story on Johnson, the front page reference is: “Only here for the cheers”.

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