A joke was made at Boris Johnson’s expense during the Platinum Party at the Palace, in what became the second embarrassing moment of the jubilee celebrations for the Prime Minister.
Comedian Lee Mack made light of the so-called Partygate affair in Downing Street during the concert in front of Buckingham Palace to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
Speaking with the Prime Minister in attendance, who was in the royal box, Mack said: “Finally we can say the words ‘party’ and ‘gate’ and it’s a positive.”
The joke drew cheers and laughs from the crowd.
Last month, an investigation published by senior civil servant Sue Gray revealed the details of a host of Covid rule-breaching gatherings held in No 10 and Whitehall.
Lee Mack during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace, London Joe Giddens
The inquiry found that excessive drinking had taken place on some occasions, with staff getting sick, altercations taking place and red wine being spilt up the walls.
The Prime Minister was found to have attended a number of leaving dos for aides, giving speeches and joining in the drinking of alcohol, despite him telling the public to avoid meeting loved ones in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
Mr Johnson, along with his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, were fined by the police for attending the Prime Minister’s surprise birthday bash in Downing Street in June 2020 when coronavirus laws prohibited different households from mixing indoors.
Mack’s partygate joke came only a day after Mr Johnson was booed by some sections of a crowd gathered outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace, London Kirsty O'Connor
The Prime Minister, following his arrival alongside his wife at a National Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen on Friday, was jeered by some people gathered outside the church.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries – who defended Mr Johnson after the booing incident – and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer were all in the Prime Minister’s vicinity when Mack’s partygate jibe was made.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel were also spotted in the royal box during the concert on Saturday evening.
Later during the concert, actor and comic Stephen Fry joked about how many prime ministers the Queen has “tolerated” during her seven-decade reign.
Fry asked the crowd lining The Mall: “How many local sewage works has Her Majesty opened with a bright smile? How many plaques unveiled? How many trees planted?
“How many ribbons cut, ships launched? How many prime ministers tolerated, for that alone no admiration is high enough.”