Sheffield man James Slack apologises over Downing Street 'party' held in his honour during lockdown

A Sheffield man has apologised over a ‘party’ held in his honour at Downing Street during lockdown.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 8:58 am

The Prime Minister's former director of communications, James Slack, who is from Sheffield, has apologised for the “anger and hurt” caused by a leaving party for him held in Downing Street the night before the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

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Mr Slack, who last year left No 10 to become deputy editor-in-chief at The Sun, said the party on April 16 2021, “should not have happened at the time that it did”.

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Mr Slack said in an emailed statement issued by The Sun's publisher News UK: “I wish to apologise unreservedly for the anger and hurt caused. This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility.”

But he said he could not comment further as the issue had been referred to senior official Sue Gray as part of her investigation into alleged breaches of coronavirus laws at Downing Street during lockdown.

Mr Slack’s leaving party was held the night before the Queen attended her husband's funeral wearing a face mask and socially distanced from her family at Windsor Castle, in line with Covid restrictions.

The Telegraph reported that advisers and civil servants gathered after work for two separate events on April 16, 2021.

They were to mark the departures of Mr Slack and one of the PM's personal photographers, the newspaper said.

The Telegraph cited a No 10 spokesperson as saying Mr Johnson was not in Downing Street that day. He is said to have been at Chequers.