He is the man who sent the now infamous email telling staff to “bring your own booze” to the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020, but who is Martin Reynolds?
Martin Reynolds has been the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary since October 2019. That role is traditionally the head of the Prime Minister’s Office in 10 Downing Street and the Prime Minister’s former aide Dominic Cummings has said he is “the most senior official in No10.”
Prior to this role he was ambassador to Libya.
He was the Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from December 2014 to January 2018. Previously he was the Deputy High Commissioner in Pretoria (2011 to 2014) and has worked in a variety of other roles in London and in Brussels and Singapore. Prior to joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he worked as a lawyer in the City.
The Prime Minister has said he was not aware of, or invited to, the party. The email from Mr Reynolds read: “Hi all, after what has been an incredibly busy period it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening.
“Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!”
There are now allegations from the Prime Minister’s former aide Dominic Cummings that is not true.
His former aide Dominic Cummings said he and others would swear on oath that top officials warned the event was against the rules, The Mirror has reported.
If true, it would mean the PM lied to the Commons when he claimed he thought it was a work event.
Mr Cummings claims he told Boris Johnson “you’ve got to grip this madhouse” after the invite was sent out asking around 100 staff to attend the BYOB party at No10.
He says at least two senior officials told Mr Johnson’s Mr Reynolds to cancel the May 20 party. Mr Reynolds then allegedly checked with the PM whether the event could go ahead, and was told that it could.
In his latest blog, Mr Cummings writes: “I said to the PM something like: Martin’s invited the building to a drinks party, this is what I’m talking about, you’ve got to grip this madhouse. The PM waved it aside.”
He said it was “not credible” that Mr Reynolds would have told senior officials he would check with the PM and then failed to do so.
Mr Cummings said: “The events of May 20 alone, never mind the string of other events, mean the PM lied to Parliament about parties. Not only me but other eyewitnesses who discussed this at the time would swear under oath this is what happened.”
In response to Mr Cummings’ claims, a No10 spokesman said: “It is untrue the Prime Minister was warned about the event in advance. As he said earlier this week, he believed implicitly that this was a work event.
“He has apologised to the House and is committed to making a further statement once the investigation concludes.”
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