Cops should quiz Boris Johnson over ‘lockdown-breaking Xmas parties’, says MP

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Labour’s deputy leader said: “It appears that Boris Johnson lied to the country and broke the law” and one MP said, “Everyone who was there should be questioned by the cops, including the Prime Minister”

Boris Johnson should be questioned by cops over his lockdown-breaking Christmas parties and quiz, it was said tonight, as the Prime Minister faces a groundswell of fury over his conduct.

The Mirror’s bombshell revelation that the PM personally breached Covid rules by hosting a festive quiz with staff from other households in Downing Street last year has sparked a massive backlash.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the “very serious” allegation had destroyed public trust in Downing Street.

Asked whether the Prime Minister had broken the law, the former director of public prosecutions told the BBC it was “hard to see” how Mr Johnson sitting with aides wearing tinsel and a Santa hat was “compliant with the rules”.

“This is very important because he has damaged his authority, he is now so weak, his party is so divided – he can’t deliver the leadership this country needs,” he said.

Sources told the Mirror teams of staff were huddled around other computers for the virtual quiz on December 15 last year, when London was under stringent Tier 2 restrictions.

The regulations banned any social mixing between households – which Mr Johnson appeared to have breached by mixing with staff.

Secretary of State for Education Nadim Zahawi
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The party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the PM should “fess up” in the Commons on the quiz and be clear on whether he “misled” MPs.

She said: “It appears that Boris Johnson lied to the country and broke the law.

“It is increasingly clear that the Prime Minister presided over a culture of ignoring the rules that he told everyone else to follow. It’s time to fess up.”

Labour MP Neil Coyle went further and said the Met Police should probe Downing Street parties and quiz the PM personally.

“There are people who were fined on the same days last year – why should it be any different for the Prime Minister,” he said. “Everyone who was there should be questioned by the cops, including the Prime Minister. They should all have their collar felt.”

Keir Starmer says questions must be asked
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The force again refused again on Sunday to launch a probe into the festive activities of Downing Street, sticking to the line that there was an “absence of evidence” and its policy was not to investigate old breaches of the rules.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, meanwhile, tried to play down the PM’s rule-breaking by calling the party allegations “hype”.

“These are people who work together,” he said. “There is no drink here. I don’t think there is a rule against recognising Christmas with tinsel or a hat.

“Ten to 15 minutes to thank his team who were working all hours on a virtual screen in a pub quiz – I think people can make their own mind up on that.”

Downing Street has confirmed Mr Johnson “briefly” attended the online quiz.

Our front page today slams Boris’s antics

Scrambling to explain the pictures, he suggested Cabinet Secretary Simon Case could expand his probe into the now notorious Downing Street festive bash on December 18 to include the quiz.

He also accused Labour of taking the “wrong” stance.

“One minute [Keir Starmer] says he does not want to play politics, the next he is, I think, being political and wrong on this,” he said, adding: “I think in many ways the hype of the past two weeks around parties will quite rightly be investigated by the Cabinet Secretary.”

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Meanwhile, Mr Johnson faced mounting anger from his own backbenchers.

Senior Tory Steve Baker urged Boris Johnson to get a “grip” and “rescue”

the Tories from tumbling polls ratings in the wake of the party scandals,

adding: “We can’t go on like this and the time to sort this out is not very much longer.

“I mean, the public should be able to have confidence that there’s one set of rules which apply equally to everybody and they should be clear that we’re all complying and that if there are exceptions they’re for good reason, and that they’re proportionate.”

Asked what he meant, he added: “The Prime Minister needs to grip all of these issues. He needs to be seen to not only comply, but seen to comply with all of the rules, however tedious and detailed.”

10 bashes that could come back to bite Boris

  1. November 13: Downing Street flat. Sources told the Mirror senior No 10 aides “were all drinking their socks off” at an alleged gathering in Boris and Carrie Johnson’s flat above 11 Downing Street. She denies it.
  2. November 13: Drinks in Downing Street. Sources told the Mirror a small number of people gathered for booze in No 10 to mark the departure of two top aides. Sources said the PM gave a “shambolic” speech. But indoor socialising was banned.
  3. November 25: Treasury drinks. Officials toasted Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review during the November lockdown, the Treasury has admitted.
  4. November 27: Drinks in Downing Street. Sources told the Mirror 40 to 50 people crammed into a room in No10 for a leaving do which went late.
  5. December 10: Party at the Department for Education. Drinks for about 24 of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’stop team.
  6. December 14: Party at Tory HQ. London mayor wannabe Shaun Bailey’s campaign held a bash so “raucous” that four people had to be disciplined.
  7. December 15: No 10 Christmas Quiz. Boris Johnson stands accused of breaching Covid rules by hosting a festive quiz in Downing Street.
  8. December 18: No 10 Christmas party. People stayed until 2am. Allegra Stratton resigned after joking about it.
  9. December (date unknown): Department for Work and Pensions. Therese Coffey’s staff regularly necked booze late until the early hours in her Whitehall office throughout the pandemic.
  10. December (date unknown): Cabinet Office quiz. Downing Street says it was virtual but sources told the BBC there were teams in the Cabinet Office’s HQ – against Covid rules.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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