Inside explosive civil servant texts SLATING Boris Johnson during Covid – as “bring your own booze” mandarin says sorry | The Sun
BRITAIN’S top mandarin was privately scathing of Boris Johnson’s Covid response, explosive texts have revealed.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case moaned to colleagues: “Government isn’t actually that hard, but this guy is really making it impossible.”
The extraordinary WhatsApps were shown at today’s Covid inquiry grilling of ex-No10 aide Martin Reynolds, who organised the infamous “bring your own booze” bash.
Mr Reynolds – dubbed “Party Marty” – this afternoon said he was “deeply sorry” for the lockdown-busting gathering and the “distress” it caused grieving families.
Giving evidence, he admitted pre-pandemic planning was “grossly deficient” and laid bare chaos at the heart of Downing Street.
He said: “The machine was not properly prepared for the scale of the crisis we were about to face."
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WhatsApps messages declared to the inquiry show Mr Case in despair at Mr Johnson during the early stages of coronavirus.
Mr Case – who is still in post – says he is “at the end of my tether” and suggested the then PM had a “let it rip” strategy to deal with the disease because the UK “needs a cold shower”.
He blasted: “He cannot lead and we cannot support him in leading with this approach. The team captain cannot change the call on the big plans every day… IT HAS TO STOP!”.
Mr Case was due to appear before Baroness Hallet’s inquiry this week but has recently taken medical leave.
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Ex No10 Principal Private Secretary Mr Reynolds – who left Downing St in March 2022 – admitted turning on WhatsApp’s “disappearing messages” function in April 2021.
He said he could not “recall” why he had done this but insisted most of the contents would have been duplicated on emails.
The former aide also described the dysfunctional relationship between Mr Johnson and his then chief adviser Dominic Cummings.
After the 2019 general election he said: “It was increasingly clear that the Prime Minister's and Dominic Cummings' agendas were not overlapping."
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