James Slack had left civil service a month before lockdown leaving do at Number 10, records suggest

James slack boris johnson
  • Downing Street staff held a leaving party on April 16 2021 for James Slack, Boris Johnson’s former head of communications.
  • But official records show Slack left the civil service on March 19 2021.
  • Slack is now a deputy editor at the Sun newspaper.

James Slack, Boris Johnson’s former head of communications, left the government nearly a month before a lockdown-busting leaving do at Number 10, official records show.

Transparency records released by the Cabinet Office show Slack’s last day in the Civil Service was March 19 2021.

A party, which Downing Street described on Friday morning as a “farewell event”, was held on April 16 2021, the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, at which the Queen was pictured sat alone.

James Slack
James Slack transparency release UK Government

At the party on Friday April 16, Slack thanked a group of press advisors and aides in a farewell speech, the Telegraph reported.

The Prime Minister’s deputy spokesperson was not immediately able to answer Insider’s query on this inconsistency.

The event included Number 10 staff joining via video link, the Telegraph said.

Alcohol was later opened up and the group mixed with another group celebrating a different member of staff leaving in the Downing Street garden.

Slack has issued a statement on the event, saying: “I wish to apologize 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.”

The Prime Minister’s deputy spokesperson told journalists on Friday morning: “It is deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning. Number 10 has apologised to the palace.”

The spokesperson did not explain what “this” specifically referred to.