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Boris Johnson And Staff Pictured With Wine And Cheese At Downing Street ‘During Lockdown’

Poppy Bilderbeck

| Last updated 

Downing Street May Image - Alamy/@PaulBrandITV/TwitterAlamy/@PaulBrandITV/Twitter

Boris Johnson and up to 17 members of staff have been pictured in 10 Downing Street’s garden drinking wine during the first lockdown. 

Amid rising backlash over a series of alleged parties which took place at the end of last year, the prime minister and members of parliament also took part in a gathering on Friday, May 15.


Downing Street has claimed that the meeting, despite the visible wine bottles, broke no coronavirus regulations because it was a ‘work meeting’.

Rules at the time stated you could only mix with one member of one other household, and that it had to be outdoors, maintaining a distance of two metres, The Guardian reports.

Moreover, the guidance stated that in-person meetings for work should only occur if ‘absolutely necessary’.


Upon seeing the image, deputy leader of the Labour party Angela Rayner stated:

[It is] a slap in the face of the British public.

The prime minister consistently shows us he has no regard for the rules he puts in place for the rest of us. Alleged drinking and partying late into the evening [at No 10] when the rest of us were only recently getting one daily walk.

The photograph, which was shared with The Guardian, shows Johnson seated around a table outside next to his wife Carrie, who appears to be holding their firstborn. Glasses of wine are visible on the table and in the hands of one man sitting across from Johnson.


There are four other individuals located at a table on the other side of the patio, and a group of people are also gathered, non-socially distanced, on the grass.

At a 5.00pm press conference on the day the image was taken, Matt Hancock urged people to be safe and not take any risks despite the good weather.

A spokesperson for No 10 stated:


As we said last week, work meetings often take place in the Downing Street garden in the summer months. On this occasion there were staff meetings after a No 10 press conference.

Downing Street is the prime minister’s home as well as his workplace. The prime minister’s wife lives in No 10 and therefore also legitimately uses the garden.

Rayner responded by demanding ‘the truth about what was going on in Downing Street from the very beginning immediately’.

Calls for Johnson to resign have been growing, particularly as the likelihood of a lockdown over the Christmas period rises.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online

Topics: News, 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson, COVID-19, lockdown, Now


The Guardian and 3 others
  1. The Guardian

    Boris Johnson and staff pictured with wine in Downing Street garden in May 2020

  2. BBC

    Covid-19: No 10 says garden photo shows work meeting

  3. The Independent

    Boris Johnson and staff pictured with wine and cheese in Downing Street garden during first lockdown

  4. @GMB/ Twitter


Poppy Bilderbeck
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