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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended the controversial picture showing him attending what appears to be a social gathering, which was recently revealed by The Guardian. Watch below:
The photo shows the Prime Minister drinking wine with his staff in the Downing Street garden during the lockdown last year.
After being asked about the image, Johnson insisted that the picture was a 'meeting of people at work talking about work'.
According to The Guardian, 19 people were at the gathering and there were ‘spirits and pizza inside and outside the building’.
The photo was reportedly taken on 15 May 2020 - when social mixing was limited to two people from different households and could only meet outdoors while staying two metres apart.
The guidance also stated that face-to-face workplace meetings should only happen if ‘absolutely necessary’.
A spokesperson has insisted it was a ‘staff meeting’ and claimed Number 10 staff will ‘often’ be held in gardens when the weather is good.
The spokesperson told Sky News: "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 following a Number 10 press conference. Downing Street is the prime minister's home as well as his workplace.
"The prime minister's wife lives in Number 10 and therefore also legitimately uses the garden."
However, Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the Labour party, said: “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.”
There’s been a string of allegation of partying at Number 10 while the rest of the country was in lockdown.
Johnson launched an inquiry into the allegations, putting civil servant Simon Case at the helm.
However, Case stepped down on Friday after claims were made that he had attended an event himself during the same time period.
Announcing his decision to step down, Case said it was ‘to ensure the ongoing investigation retains public confidence’.
He has now been replaced with Sue Gray, the second permanent secretary at the communities and levelling up department.
A statement from the Government said: “She will ascertain the facts and present her findings to the prime minister.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Boris Johnson
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