Boris Johnson Pictured Hosting No 10 Christmas Quiz ‘In Clear Breach’ Of Covid Rules
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Boris Johnson is facing further questions over allegations lockdown rules were breached in Downing Street last Christmas, after an image emerged showing him hosting an office Christmas quiz.
The image, which was obtained by the Sunday Mirror, shows Johnson sitting between two colleagues in a room in No 10, with staff reportedly ‘huddled’ around computers in teams conferring on answers.
According to the Mirror, the quiz took place on December 15, when London was under Tier 2 Covid restrictions, meaning indoor mixing between households for social reasons was banned.
In a statement following the publication of the photo, a Downing Street spokesperson denied any rules had been broken, emphasising that it was a ‘virtual quiz’ that Johnson ‘briefly took part’ in to thank his staff for their hard work during the year.
However, a source told the Mirror ‘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.’
Adam Wagner, a lawyer and expert on Covid laws, tweeted that the photo was ‘a clear breach of the govt’s guidance and a potential breach of the law.’
The guidance stated ‘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.’
The image has added to the scandal currently embroiling No 10, with the government accused of hosting a number of in-person Christmas parties last year in breach of Covid restrictions.
Following reports about a Christmas party at No 10 on December 18, by which time London was in Tier 3 restrictions, Johnson said he had been ‘assured’ that no rules were broken, with Cabinet secretary Simon Case launching an investigation into the allegations.
The claims have put increased pressure on Johnson, with a recent poll showing 57% of the British public think he should resign, and giving Labour a nine point lead over the Conservatives – their largest since 2014.
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Topics: News, Boris Johnson, Downing Street, Now