Inside rarely seen Number 10 garden where Tories held BYOB lockdown parties

By Rosaleen Fenton

The leafy garden tucked away behind Number 10 Downing Street has suddenly been thrust into the limelight.

A bombshell email revealed late last night that more than 100 staff were invited to a boozy party on the law. Meanwhile, the rest of the country was banned from meeting more than one person outdoors.

Boris Johnson's Principal Private Secretary suggested staff "make the most of the lovely weather " and asked guests to bring their own booze.

Witnesses say the PM and his wife Carrie were among the 40 guests that attended and there were long tables laden with drink and picnic food.

Meanwhile, readers across the country have shared what they were up to on the same day - as we were forced to keep away from loved ones.

David Cameron & Nick Clegg at their their first joint press conference in the Downing Street garden (Getty Images)

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Now the rarely seen half-acre garden, next to the Horse Guards Parade, has become a hot topic of discussion - just days after another yet another party claim.

Boris Johnson was pictured with wine and cheese alongside his wife and up to 17 staff in the Downing Street garden - which officials denied was a social gathering.

Some staff can be seen sitting on the terrace while others have gathered on the L-shaped lawn with flowery borders in small groups.

The garden at the Prime Minister's residence 10 Downing Street (Tim Stewart)

The space has opened up to the public on rare occasions and offers an insight into the everyday ongoings of the political landscape.

Family home

It is overlooked by the chancellor of the exchequer's flat and various PM's have tinkered with it - including Sarah Brown who installed a veggie patch, which produces radishes, spring onions, tomatoes and lettuce

Meanwhile, the Camerons installed a play area for their children and hosted a barbecue for the Obamas there.

The unlikely duo held a barbecue together (AFP via Getty Images)

Nature

There is a central flowerbed with flower urns, a bench and an arch, while flower baskets line the terrace and roses line the main pathway through the garden.

The garden also features an attractive bronze sculpture by Dame Barbara Hepworth and a pond.

Ducks are often caught trying to nest there before being escorted back to St James Park.

There are also bird-feeding tables where birds as exotic as a parakeet have been seen feeding.

And a special edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme Gardeners' Question Time was broadcast from Downing Street in December 2016

Political moments

Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings speaks as he delivers a statement in the Rose Garden (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Famously, David Cameron and Nick Clegg announced that a coalition government had been formed in the garden in May 2010.

Meanwhile, in 2011, the Cameron's and Obama's jointly hosted a barbecue for military personnel.

Blair held a press conference with Bill Clinton in the garden.

Meanwhile, Dominic Cummings was forced to hold a press conference in the rose garden after members of the public spotted him in Barnard Castle.


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