The Prime Minister has been accused of personally breaching Covid laws as he hosted at Downing Street a Christmas quiz, the Mirror claims.
As Boris Johnson read out questions he was pictured on screen sitting with many staff huddled by computers drinking alcohol which was bought from the local Tesco Metro.
An insider told the Mirror that there was four teams and each of them was made up of six people on the 15 December and Johnson was sat with two members of his top team, but they were not drinking.
At the time London was under Tier 2 restrictions which banned any social mixing between households.
It appears that the Prime Minister breached the rules by mixing with the aides during the Christmas quiz.
Government guidance stated at the time, “You must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in your tier.”
Downing Street’s claims last week that no parties had taken place in No10 now seriously undermines the claims.
Mr Johnson said last week: “I can tell you guidelines were followed at all times. I’ve satisfied myself that the guidelines were followed at all times.”
The revelations seriously undermine Downing Street’s claims last week that no parties had taken place in No10.
The Prime Minister said last week, “I can tell you guidelines were followed at all times. I’ve satisfied myself that the guidelines were followed at all times.”
A source told the Mirror that staff decided to do the quiz in Downing Street, “Everybody decided it would be more fun.
“It would be difficult to take part in such a large virtual quiz from home.
“No work was discussed, it wasn’t a business event. Nobody was working that evening, it was purely a social event.”
Halfway through the quiz it was claimed that Johnson surprised staff as he turned up on screen as quizmaster for one round which lasted up to 15 minutes.
The Prime Minister asked questions, which included, “At her press conference, how many Covid tests did Priti Patel say had been conducted?”
A source told the Mirror, “Nobody ever questioned whether this was against the rules or if we shouldn’t be doing this.
“We all just went ahead and did it. At the time we didn’t even click that what we were doing was so severely wrong. I’ve realised now that it was actually pretty outrageous.
“We felt like we were working extremely hard and working a lot of hours. Looking back, I accept we shouldn’t have done that.”
Shadow Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, Angela Rayner said, “While the rules said that people shouldn’t have Christmas parties at work and Britons across the country were doing the right thing, Boris Johnson was instead happy to preside over a culture of disregard for the rules at the heart of government.
“Despite repeated denials of parties in Number 10, it now transpires that there were numerous parties, gatherings and the Prime Minister even took part in a festive quiz.
“Boris Johnson really believes it’s one rule for him, another for everyone else. He is a man unfit to lead this country.”
A No10 spokesman said of the new revelations, “This was a virtual quiz. Downing Street staff were often required to be in the office to work on the pandemic response so those who were in the office for work may have attended virtually from their desks.
“The Prime Minister briefly took part virtually in a quiz to thank staff for their hard work throughout the year.”