Boris Johnson Fails To Deny No.10 Lockdown Christmas Party Allegations
Boris Johnson has failed to deny that a Christmas party took place at Number 10 Downing Street in December last year, while London was under a Tier 3 lockdown.
Johnson was grilled about the party by Labour leader Keir Starmer during Prime Minister’s Questions today after The Mirror reported that a possible breach of lockdown regulations when around "40 – 50 people" allegedly attended two separate events in Downing Street last December.
Johnson did not explicitly deny a festive bash took place, instead insisting that “all guidance was followed completely in Number10”.
According to The Mirror, the first was a leaving party for a member of staff, held on 13 November, when the country was amid its second national lockdown.
The second is reported to have been a Christmas drinks, which took place on 18 December. At the time London was under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions, which included a ban on all indoor mixing with the exception of individuals in household bubbles.
Downing Street staff are classified as key workers and as such were not required to work from home.
Following the revelations, Labour has accused the Prime Minister of adopting a “one rule for them, another for everybody else” mentality to Covid-19 laws and guidelines.
“The defence seems to be no rules were broken,” Starmer said during PMQs.
“Well, I’ve got the rules that were in place at the time,” he added.
“They’re very clear: you must not have a work Christmas lunch or party.
"Does the Prime Minister really believe the country to believe that while people were banned from seeing their loved ones at Christmas last year, it was fine for him and his friends to throw a boozy party in Downing Street?"
Johnson dismissed Starmer’s accusation, responding that public compliance with current Covid-19 guidelines is “frankly a more relevant consideration”.
“The important thing to do is not only follow the guidance we have set out, but also when it comes to dealing with the Omicron variant to make sure that you wear a mask on public transport and in shops,” the Prime Minister said.
“Above all what we’re doing is strengthening checks at the borders and [encouraging people to] get their booster.”
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