• Thursday, December 01, 2022

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Sonia Khan says drinking had long been ‘normalised’ in Downing Street

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond (C) with Sonia Khan (R) in Birmingham, central England, on October 3, 2018. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

FORMER aide Sonia Khan has revealed that drinking had long been ‘normalised’ in Downing Street, reported MailOnline

According to Khan, Downing Street could start boozing at lunch and wake up in the same clothes after crashing on sofas as part of a long-standing drinking culture.

Khan worked in No10 and the Treasury during the premierships of David Cameron and Theresa May before being summarily sacked in a row with Dominic Cummings after Boris Johnson came to power, the report added.

“Usually these drinking sessions are sandwiched between pieces of work, so it feels like a very, very routine thing. Drinks could start at lunch time, they could start a little bit later in the day – different teams do things very differently – but the idea of mini-fridges or having drinks underneath your table wasn’t uncommon,” Khan was quoted as saying by MailOnline.

Prime minister Johnson was forced to apologise last week after it emerged his principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, invited more than 100 members of staff to a ‘bring your own booze’ party in the No 10 garden in May 2020 during the first lockdown.

Johnson admitted he attended but argued he believed it was a work event.

Media reports said that aides used a suitcase on wheels to go out and pick up booze for the gathering from a nearby shop.

The MailOnline report said that there is speculation that Johnson is ready to jettison some of his most senior aides and ban alcohol in Downing Street to save his face.

Khan briefly remained in the Treasury after Johnson took over, but was marched out of Downing Street by armed police after being sacked by Cummings in August 2019 over allegations of leaking.

Meanwhile, Cummings hit back on Twitter insisting there was no drinking culture at No10 in May 2020.

He also accused Khan of being a ‘useful idiot’ helping shore up Johnson’s position.

Eastern Eye

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