Yet another photo has leaked showing Boris Johnson allegedly ‘breaking lockdown rules’

Written by Amy Beecham

 The government and Boris Johnson have repeatedly come under fire for a string of alleged gatherings and parties throughout summer and winter 2020, while the rest of the country was observing a strict lockdown. 

Following multiple reports of alleged government parties that broke lockdown rules throughout last year, pictures of prime minister Boris Johnson, his wife and 17 staff members in the Downing Street garden with bottles of wine and a cheeseboard have emerged.

The image, published by The Guardian, stated that the gathering took place following a press conference in May 2020, a time where there were strict restrictions on socialising and mixing households.

When asked about the image, Johnson responded: “Those were people at work, talking about work.”

Earlier, deputy prime minister Dominic Raab had also suggested the event took place after work, telling BBC Breakfast: “Sometimes after a busy working day people have a drink – that was not against the regulations.”

However, this line of response has been heavily criticised by the public and other political figures. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was “a stretch” to call the gathering a work meeting, pointing to the “contrast” between the picture of the prime minister and people who were unable to attend funerals at the time because of the lockdown.

On Twitter, anger and frustrations were shared as people recounted the personal sacrifices they had made at the same time the gatherings were taking place. 

“May 2020. A then student nurse asked to work on a Covid HDU. I watched people younger than myself die. I watched my friend’s dad die. I remember my whole bay of patients died, a brand new nurse, seen more deaths than most see in 10 years. How was the party ⁦@BorisJohnson⁩?” wrote Hannah, a nurse.

“A year ago today while Boris and Co were having drinks and silly games my dear old Dad died alone.

@BorisJohnson @MattHancock

Hope you’re proud,” shared another bereaved user.

“Here’s Boris Johnson having a meeting (?) in May 2020 whilst the rest of us were complying with Covid rules which included not being able to attend my own brothers funeral because only 6 of us could and we only had 29 mins to bury him before the next family came,” shared solicitor Nazir Afzal, along with the Downing Street picture.

“If this was a work party then perhaps @SteveBarclay can publish the minutes,” wrote Labour MP Angela Raynor.

Many others pointed out the “double standards” for the public with intensive care consultant Aoife sharing: “Let’s remember that at end April 2020 I was reprimanded by someone from THE POLICE because I stopped in a park, alone and not near other people, to LOOK at a swan, while on a walk to clear my head before work on ICU next day

Hope you enjoyed the garden party @BorisJohnson.”

“As yet another story emerges of an alleged Downing Street party, let’s remember the people who DID obey the rules. This footage shows Craig and Paul Wright being told they couldn’t comfort their grieving mother Barbara at their father’s funeral,” tweeted broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

An investigation is currently taking place into a number of alleged parties in government buildings,including Downing Street, in November and December last year. However, this has also been marred by controversy as it was alleged that Simon Case, the senior civil servant first allocated to the investigation had himself attended a gathering.

A spokesman for Number 10 told the BBC: “Work meetings often take place in the Downing Street garden in the summer months.

“On this occasion there were staff meetings following a No 10 press conference.”

“Downing Street is the prime minister’s home as well as his workplace. The prime minister’s wife lives in No 10 and therefore also legitimately uses the garden,” they added.

Images: Getty

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