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Champagne bottle signed by Boris Johnson auctioned at charity event ‘as souvenir of Partygate’

By Chiara Giordano
Oli Scarff/PA

A champagne bottle signed by Boris Johnson was auctioned off at a charity event “as a souvenir of partygate”.

Food critic Jay Rayner tweeted an image showing a description of the bottle from what appeared to be the page of an auction catalogue.

Beneath the title “Bottle of champagne signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson”, the description read: “A bottle of champagne signed by Boris. Hugely valuable as a souvenir of partygate and the exemplary behaviour and morality of our dear leader! Donated by: Oliver Dowden”.

Sharing the image on Twitter on Friday morning, Mr Rayner wrote: “Perhaps you thought the Conservative party took partygate seriously.

“Last night a champagne bottle signed by @BorisJohnson was donated to a charity event in Hertfordshire by local MP and Tory party chairman @OliverDowden. Read the description.”

Mr Dowden, who has been the MP for Hertsmere since 2015 and co-chairman of the Conservative Party since 2021, confirmed he donated the item – but had no knowledge of the description.

The MP’s spokesperson said: “This item was donated in good faith several months ago for a local charity auction.

“Oliver Dowden had no prior knowledge of the description and this is obviously not his view.”

Oliver Dowden was not aware of the description and said the item was donated ‘in good faith’ (EPA)

The Metropolitan Police on Thursday announced the number of fines handed out to government staff for law-breaking parties held during the Covid-19 pandemic had doubled to more than 100.

Scotland Yard said last month that 50 referrals had been made to the criminal records office for fixed penalty notice (FPN) fines over parties in Downing Street and Whitehall when the country was under strict social-distancing rules.

In an update, the Met said its Operation Hillman team had now recommended 100 fines. The force said its investigation, into 12 separate events, remained ongoing.

Number 10 said Boris Johnson had not been issued with another fine, after he was punished last month over his rule-breaking birthday party in June 2020.

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Dive Deeper:
A bottle of champagne signed by Boris Johnson was auctioned as 'a souvenir of partygate'
The champagne donated by a senior Tory was auctioned as 'a souvenir of partygate'
Champagne signed by Boris Johnson labelled 'souvenir of partygate' at auction
Oliver Dowden, the chairman of the Conservative Party, donated the item 'in good faith'
‘Champagne signed by Boris Johnson auctioned off as partygate souvenir’, reports say
A BOTTLE of champagne signed by Boris Johnson was allegedly auctioned off “as a souvenir of partygate” after being donated…
Charity that auctioned Boris Johnson champagne as ‘Partygate souvenir’ apologises ‘for any offence’
Exclusive: Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden donated item for event held at Harry Potter studios but had no knowledge of description
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Tory chairman denies mocking Partygate after donating champagne signed by Boris Johnson
Oliver Dowden donated the booze to a charity event in his seat in Hertfordshire - but denied writing a 'crass'…
Oliver Dowden denies making light of ‘partygate’ with champagne donation
A bottle signed by the PM was advertised to bidders as a ‘souvenir of partygate’ at an event in Hertfordshire.
Get all your news in one place