‘Covid nightmare’ Boris Johnson broke lockdown rules with Downing Street Christmas parties
Boris Johnson enjoys Christmas market near Downing Street
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Boris Johnson, 57, and his Number 10 team have been accused of breaching coronavirus rules by hosting Downing Street parties in the weeks before Christmas last year. The Prime Minister is said to have given a speech for one of his top aides who was leaving their post on November 27.
According to the Mirror, Mr Johnson’s Number 10 staff are also reported to have hosted a Christmas party, which included drinking wine, a festive quiz and a Secret Santa, while London was placed in so-called tier 3 restrictions on December 18.
Following concerns over growing COVID-19 rates, the Prime Minister placed London and the South East of England under new tier 4 restrictions on December 19.
The events were said to have been attended by between 40 and 50 people, who were “crammed” into medium-sized rooms in Downing Street.
One source described the events as a “Covid nightmare”.
Despite this, Number 10’s official Christmas party was indeed cancelled and staff instead had to make do with competing in a quiz on the online chat service Zoom.
The Prime Minister is also reported not to have attended the unofficial festive celebrations.
JUST IN: Angela Rayner brutally torn apart as Tories laugh at Labour humiliation – ‘A f*** up!’
However, there are even some claims a smaller group of people decided to get “totally plastered” following the departure of Vote Leave supremo Dominic Cummings, 50, as the Prime Minister’s chief of staff on November 13.
The Government put England under its second national lockdown measures just days earlier on November 5.
Rules imposed by the Government gave police the power to fine people up to £10,000 for hosting gatherings of 30 people or more.
Such a fine was dished out to a 19-year-old university student in Nottingham back in September 2020.
The Mirror claims the only way either event could have legally taken place was if they were “reasonably necessary for work”.
But some insiders suggested it was far from uncommon for Downing Street to host such events while the rest of Britain was placed in lockdown.
One source even suggested Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie, 33, was “addicted” to parties at Number 10.
A spokeswoman for Mrs Johnson, who tied the knot with the Prime Minister in May 2021, told the Mirror: “This is total nonsense.”
She added: “Mrs Johnson has followed coronavirus rules at all times and it is categorically untrue to suggest otherwise.”
The Prime Minister and his wife had been accused of breaking separate COVID-19 rules over the same period when Mrs Johnson’s friend Nimco Ali, 38, stayed with the family over Christmas.
However, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said “the rules made clear you can continue to use a childcare bubble” at Christmas and added the couple “adhered to those rules at all times”.
Despite clarification over Ms Ali’s stay, another source suggested the Prime Minister had “turned a blind eye” to some events inside Number 10.
“While senior civil servants were urging caution and there was one message to the public, the Prime Minister gave the impression that it could be very relaxed in Number 10,” they claimed.
Brexit LIVE: EU scolded over pressuring UK banks [LIVE]
Sturgeon’s St Andrew’s Day post gushed over by Indy-backing Scots’ [REVEALED]
Hysterical and childish’ EU sparks fury over failure to invite Patel’ [INSIGHT]
“He would either turn a blind eye or on some occasions attend himself while everyone else was in lockdown.”
It had also been claimed Downing Street defended their actions by saying all attendees worked in the same building.
A source said: “It’s difficult to arbitrate because there’s huge amounts of work going on – from time to time until the early hours of the morning.
“They generally observed the rules, it’s just these events happened occasionally that pushed it.”
But another claimed letting off steam was not an excuse by saying: “Tell that to doctors and nurses and social care workers.”
A Downing Street spokesman responded to the Mirror’s report by reiterating how insiders followed coronavirus guidelines.
They said: “Covid rules have been followed at all times.”
Source: Read Full Article