Ex-chief aide to Boris Johnson Dominic Cummings has said that is, “very unwise for No 10 to lie” about the Christmas parties which took place in 2020. Cumming has accused journalists of playing down what happened last year after Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said that an investigation has been launched into the accusations and, “There was not a party, and COVID rules have been followed at all times.” He has accused journalists of “trying to bury” the fact that partied were happening at no.10 Downing Street during lockdown, as he claims that political journalists themselves were also at parties in No 10 flat”.
Many families who have lost loved ones to COVID described the Christmas party that was held at no.10 Downing street as, “the ultimate insult”. The feelings come after cases of COVID still loomed in the capital as a Christmas party was held last year, of eating, drinking and celebrations whilst many were suffering. One grieving daughter Beryl Harris who was no allowed to be with her mother who was alone within the last few hours of her life, while No 10 threw a Christmas party, described it as “a slap in the face to everyone in this country who has made sacrifices”. Household mixing indoors was not allowed by the tier 3 COVID rules, but those at No.10 insist that COVID rules were followed. Many people have complained that if they had held a party at Christmas it would have ended with a £10,000 fine and have said, “it’s disgraceful the very people running this country think the rules don’t apply to them.”
Evidence has been found of several social gatherings that were held at Downing street during periods of restriction, which include Boris Johnson giving a speech at a leaving so, and the Christmas party which included games and refreshments and went on past midnight. This party had been reported to the police by two labour MP’s who had members of their constituency being prosecuted for holding indoor gatherings that same day.
Heath secretary Sajid Javid said, “Isn’t it time that the government comes clean about the event in Downing Street on that same day, admit they broke the rules and apologise – or does the secretary of state believe, as the prime minister appears to, that it’s one rule for them and another rule for everyone else?” He continued, “In terms of rules, of course they should apply to everyone, regardless of who they are.”
It is unclear what Number 10 consider a, “party”, the denial from no.10 Downing street, and the clear mixture of different rules for different people have angered many and raised many more questions for ministers. Anger has fuelled by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab comments on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, “that police have been clear, they don’t normally look back and investigate things that have taken place a year ago”. However, there is evidence of court cases being raised for others holding gathers on the same day last year.