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Downing Street Defends Garden Gathering Photo Of Boris Johnson

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Downing Street Defends Garden Gathering Photo Of Boris Johnson

Number 10 has defended a newly released image of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a gathering in a garden during lockdown in May. 

The photo, which was published in the Guardian, shows Johnson alongside his wife Carrie and several colleagues, with cheese and wine on a table in the garden of 10 Downing Street. 

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. 

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

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, he 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: Politics, Boris Johnson, UK News

Claire Reid
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