14 January 2022 - Downing Street party scandal
'A Suitcase Of Wine': Downing Street Staffers Partied 'As Queen Mourned Prince Philip Alone'
Graeme Demianyk (The Huffington Post, 13/01/2022)
Downing Street staff stocked up with a “suitcase of wine” ahead of another round of boozy parties as Covid restrictions were in place – this time before the Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral.
As the “partygate” scandal showed little sign of relenting, The Telegraph reported on two events that are said to have taken place on the evening of April 16 2021.
At the time, the country was in a period of public mourning and coronavirus restrictions were in force. England was in step two of the government’s road map out of lockdown, which limited socialising to groups of six people or two households outdoors.
Renewed calls for PM to resign over parties on eve of Philip funeral
Lucy Campbell (The Guardian, 14/01/2022)
Further allegations of Downing Street parties taking place on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s socially distanced funeral have been met with widespread anger across the political spectrum, bookending a turbulent week for Boris Johnson, who is facing renewed calls to resign.
Prince Philip’s funeral took place in the private chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday 17 April, the day after two leaving dos were reportedly held at No 10 at a time when such mixing was banned. The Queen, in mourning black, wearing a face mask and sitting alone to maintain social distancing, became one of the defining images of the national lockdown.
UK police say no probe yet into parties at PM's house during COVID-19 lockdown
William James (Reuters, 14/01/2022)
British police will not investigate gatherings held in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's residence during a coronavirus lockdown unless an internal government inquiry finds evidence of potential criminal offences, the Metropolitan Police said.
Johnson's leadership is in the balance as he faces calls to resign from some in his party over Wednesday's admission that he attended staff drinks during the May 2020 lockdown. He apologised for the error and said he thought it was a work event.
Downing Street party: what the law actually said about work gatherings in May 2020
Alan Greene (The Conversation, 13/01/2022)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that a group of people gathered in the garden of 10 Downing Street on May 20, 2020 while the UK was in a national lockdown. The admission follows widespread outrage over a leaked email that appeared to invite staff to “bring your own booze” and socialise at a time when people were not allowed to meet their friends or family outside their household. However, Johnson continues to insist that the event “could be said technically to fall within the guidance”.