LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment on reports of a "bring your own booze" party in the garden of his Downing Street office and residence during the first coronavirus lockdown in May 2020.
The spokesman said an existing inquiry into Downing Street gatherings needed to be completed first.
"It is simply the case that we wouldn't want to be seen to be prejudging that ongoing work," the spokesman said.
"Given the claims and speculation that's been reported on, what's right is that the independent inquiry is allowed to carry out its work."
The spokesman said Johnson has full confidence in the senior official, Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds, who was reported by ITV to have sent an email invitation to the event, signing it off "bring your own booze!"
If the government's internal inquiry - which covers a range of gatherings that reportedly broke lockdown rules - establishes wrongdoing, then those involved should be punished, the spokesman said.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by William James)