Further allegations of Downing Street parties have come to light with sources claiming Boris Johnson was aware of 'Wine time Friday' gatherings at No 10.

The Mirror reported how the weekly social event is a “long-standing Downing Street tradition” - including under previous administrations. But 'Wine time Friday' continued, despite Covid restrictions at the time banning indoor mixing.

The newspaper said staff invested in a £142 drinks fridge to keep their bottles of alcohol chilled, and that the Prime Minister was aware of the socialising.

A photo published by The Mirror claimed to show the chiller being delivered through the back door of Downing Street on December 11, 2020.

Downing Street party allegations

At the time of the alleged 'Wine time Friday' events, Covid restrictions banned two or more people from different households from meeting indoors, unless “reasonably necessary” for work purposes.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “There is an ongoing investigation to establish the facts around the nature of gatherings, including attendance, setting and the purpose with reference to adherence to the guidance at the time.

“The findings will be made public in due course.”

It comes just hours after the former head of the government's Covid Taskforce apologised for a lockdown party on December 17, 2020.

Kate Josephs, chief executive of Sheffield City Council, said she was co-operating with a probe by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

The CEO said she was “truly sorry” over an evening gathering in the Cabinet Office for her leaving drinks during coronavirus restrictions days before Christmas in 2020.

The latest allegations also follow an apology from James Slack, Boris Johnson's former director of communications, who admitted partying into the early hours the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Will Boris Johnson resign?

Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson amid fresh allegations that two further Downing Street parties were held while coronavirus restrictions were in place, the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

The events were held in April last year, while the country was in a period of national mourning, it was reported. The Prime Minister was said to have been away from Downing Street at the time.

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

Sir 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 & sacrifice to keep to the rules in the national interest.

“I have no words for the culture & 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.

Mr 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.

A blow was also landed on the PM from the Sutton Coldfield Conservatives, an association in a safe Tory seat, which reportedly passed a motion calling for Mr Johnson to stand down.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Undated handout photo issued by GOV.UK of Sue Gray, second permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who will take over from Cabinet Secretary Simon Case who has "recused himself" from leading the investigation. Undated handout photo issued by GOV.UK of Sue Gray, second permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who will take over from Cabinet Secretary Simon Case who has "recused himself" from leading the investigation.

In a rare ray of hope for the Prime Minister, it was reported that an inquiry into alleged lockdown-busting events by senior official Sue Gray was expected to find no evidence of criminality.

However, The Times reported that the investigation could censure Mr Johnson for a lack of judgment.

The newspaper said Ms Gray was expected to avoid concluding whether the PM breached the ministerial code, as this would fall outside her remit.

But she is set criticise the culture in Downing Street, it said.

Ms Gray is examining a series of parties and gatherings held in No 10 and Whitehall in 2020 while coronavirus restrictions were in force.