politics

Downing Street intends to hold Christmas party amid Covid rules row



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owning Street has denied a boozy Christmas party was held at No 10 last year in breach of Covid restrictions, but said it intends to host a festive get-together for staff this year.

On Monday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “there was not a party and Covid rules have been followed at all times” when questioned about the alleged gathering, which reportedly took place on December 18 2020.

He added that there “is an intention to have a Christmas party this year” but “we haven’t confirmed any dates at the moment”.

Last week Boris Johnson did not deny reports that a party, which is alleged to have included drinks and games, took place. Rules at the time stated people could only meet for work purposes.

Another government minister on Monday stopped short of saying that Covid rules were definitely followed at the alleged Christmas party in Downing Street last year when the capital was under strict regulations banning social mixing.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said he had not been at the gathering but he was “reassured that all the regulations were complied with”, he told BBC Radio 4.

When asked if the gathering could have been within the law at the time, Mr Malthouse added: “My job is to seek reassurance… and that’s what I’ve done.

“I asked: ‘Were all the regulations complied with?’ I was reassured they were, I have to take that at face value. That’s absolutely what I’m sure is the case.”

Science minister George Freeman last week stated he had been “assured” that people at the gathering had stuck to the rules and Health Secretary Sajid Javid suggested the alleged party may not have happened at all.

However, Mr Malthouse suggested police should investigate whether Christmas parties were held in Downing Street in violation of Covid restrictions if a report is made.



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