Boris Johnson apologises to the Queen for Downing Street parties held night before Prince Philip's funeral

BORIS Johnson today apologised to the Queen for two parties held in Downing Street the night before Prince Philip's socially-distanced funeral.

Advisers and civil servants are said to have drunk alcohol inside No10 as a send-off to departing colleagues on April 16, 2021.

The next morning, a sombre Queen was pictured alone at St George's Chapel in Windsor as her husband of 73 years was laid to rest in a Covid-secure funeral.

The PM's official spokesman today said: "It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and No10 has apologised to the Palace."

At the time, England was grappling strict restrictions as part of Mr Johnson's road map out of lockdown.

Indoor mixing was banned unless in a household or support bubble and groups of six were able to meet outdoors.

The two parties at No10 are now being investigated by civil servant Sue Gray, who is already probing a list of alleged lockdown-busting bashes.

She has reportedly not found enough evidence of criminality to refer the matter to police.

According to the Telegraph, up to 30 people attended both events but Boris had already left for Chequers.

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One of the parties was held for his former director of communications James Slack, while the other bid farewell to one of the PM's personal photographers.

No10 confirmed a speech was made at the former but did not comment on the photographer's leaving do.

A spokesperson said: "On this individual’s last day he gave a farewell speech to thank each team for the work they had done to support him, both those who had to be in the office for work and on a screen for those working from home.” 

Mr Slack today said: "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."

It comes after Boris apologised on Wednesday for attending a party at No10 in May 2020.

Mr Slack is now Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sun.

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