Politics

New photo shows Boris Johnson at Christmas party not being probed by the Met

SCOTLAND Yard is facing calls to investigate another event in No. 10 for breaches of Covid rules after a new photograph emerged.

The Mirror published a picture of the Prime Minister with a Downing Street employee alongside a bottle of champagne and a half eaten packet of crisps.

It is understood to have been taken at a Christmas quiz, with the employee wearing a tinsel garland round his neck.  

The event on December 15 2020 is not one of those being investigated by the Metropolitan Police after officers were passed evidence from the Sue Gray inquiry.

Shadow minister Fabian Hamilton challenged Mr Johnson over the image published during Prime Minister’s questions.

The Labour MP said: “In the last few minutes a photo has emerged of the Prime Minister in Downing Street on December 15, 2020 surrounded by alcohol, food and people wearing tinsel.

“It looks a lot like one of the Christmas parties he told us never happened.”

He added: “Will the Prime Minister be referring this party to the police as it is not one of the ones currently being investigated?”

Mr Johnson responded: “In what he has just said, I’m afraid he is completely in error.”

Asked again about the photograph later, the Prime Minister said it had “already been submitted for investigation”. 

At the time of the quiz, London was under Tier 2 restrictions which prohibited social mixing between different households indoors.

Official guidance said: “Although there are exemptions for work purposes, you must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in your tier.”

Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s hostile former chief adviser, tweeted: “there’s waaaaay better pics than that floating around, incl in the flat.”

Adam Wagner, a human rights lawyer who has been examining Covid laws, said: “I think there is no longer any justification for the police not to investigate this event.

“I imagine the reason decided not to investigate this gathering is because the image was ambiguous – the PM may have dialled in but not have been himself participating in an illegal gathering. But now it seems obvious from the photo he himself is participating in a social gathering.”

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