BORIS Johnson has again refused to deny a Christmas party took place in Downing Street during lockdown after a report staff were asked to bring “Secret Santa” gifts.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman insisted point blank on Monday that “there was not a party” at No 10 on December 18 last year.

However, after the Times reported the event was organised by staff over WhatsApp several days in advance, Mr Johnson refused to repeat his own spokesman’s claim. 

Instead, he claimed no rules were broken, despite London being under Tier 3 Covid restrictions at the time, which included a ban on social mixing indoors and office parties.

On a visit to a prison in London today intended to show he was tough on crime, Mr Johnson was asked about the potential lawbreaking under his own roof.

He said: “What I can tell you is that all the guidelines were observed, continue to be observed.

Asked if he investigated personally, he said: “I am satisfied myself that the guidelines were followed at all times.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “our position has not changed” following Mr Johnson’s comments.

Ministers are yet to explain how the alleged bash complied with the rules in place at the time, despite coming under pressure since an initial report in the Daily Mirror last week.

The newspaper said two events took place in No 10 in the run-up to the festive season last year, including Mr Johnson giving a speech at a leaving do during November’s lockdown.

The other was said to be a staff party in December where party games were played, food and drinks were served, and revelries went on past midnight.

At the time, the Tier 3 rules explicitly banned work Christmas lunches and parties where it is “a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted”.

Two Labour MPs have asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate.

Families who lost loved ones during the pandemic have also said they are "sickened" by the thought of a No 10 Christmas party during restrictions that they followed.

The Times today reported that around 30 people initially attended the December party, some wearing Christmas jumpers, while others later joined in an “impromptu” fashion.

The paper said staff brought food and alcohol, rather the taxpayer paying for it.

It also quoted a source saying; “Of course it was premeditated because everyone came with Secret Santa presents. It was arranged at least a week in advance via WhatsApp with a follow-up email.”

The source added that there was a “proper spread” of food that people had brought along with alcohol.

“The majority of people there were civil servants with a few special advisers and others there. But it was mostly officials.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called on the Prime Minister to “be honest” about the “knees-up” in Downing Street.

“Very many people are very, very upset by this because while all the rest of the country was in lockdown not seeing loved ones, the people who lost people in that period now know that there was a knees-up and a booze-up in Downing Street, and even now the Prime Minister can’t just be honest.

“So I say to him: Be honest, own up. We don’t need a criminal investigation, we need a Prime Minister who is honest about it.”

During Treasury questions in the Commons, Chancellor Rishi Sunak denied having attended any parties in Downing Street during the lockdown.

Labour MP Karl Turner asked: “The Chancellor was evasive when interviewed by the media last week but we need a clear answer on this very important point because many people across the country made great personal sacrifice during the lockdown.

“So will the Chancellor categorically deny in the House that he or any of his officials or Spads (special advisers) attended any of the Downing Street Christmas parties on November 27 or December 18 last year?”

Mr Sunak replied: “No, I did not attend any parties.”

One Labour MP could be heard saying: “So there were parties.”