St Albans political advisor's leaving party allegedly broke lockdown rules

Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a statement to MPs in the House of Commons on the Sue Gray rep

Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a statement to MPs in the House of Commons on the Sue Gray report. - Credit: PA

A former St Albans resident has been embroiled in the No 10 Partygate scandal after it was revealed a leaving do was held in her honour during the height of the pandemic.

The Cabinet Office event involved the departure of No 10 private secretary Hannah Young and took place on June 18 2020, when regulations banned indoor mixing and the rule of six applied to outdoors.

Hannah was born in Watford but lived in St Albans until moving to New York with her family. She was Boris Johnson's lead official on home affairs policy before she left to become deputy consul general in NYC, working for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

According to national media reports, there were allegedly 20 people present at her leaving do, alcohol was being drunk, and the PM's principal private secretary Martin Reynolds was in attendance.

The event was one of the additional lockdown parties revealed for the first time in Sue Gray's pared-back report, with the links to Hannah highlighted in a national newspaper.

An article in The Times Magazine this weekend elaborated on the event: "On this occasion we know around 20 people attended and alcohol was drunk. Also a government source claimed that this same leaving party had been “raucous” (although someone else denied this), so now we know that a raucous party is a leaving party with knobs on.

"Not merely the standard handing over of a card signed by everyone in the building plus a whip-round present, paper cups of warm cava and a very brief speech, but a party at which people stick around a lot longer than they need to and get rowdy."

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Hannah's previous roles include establishing and leading the International Agreements Unit within the UK’s Department for Exiting the EU, as a senior advisor in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Cabinet Office roles on migration and intelligence policy and three years as a UK diplomat in Afghanistan at the height of the conflict, capacity building national police forces.

In addition to her consul duties, she also hosts Brits in the Big Apple, a weekly podcast in which she talks to a wide range of British cultural figures now living in NYC.