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    HomeWorldBoris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to be fined over lockdown parties

    Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to be fined over lockdown parties

    The government has faced intense pressure over gatherings held in and around Downing Street during Covid lockdowns. Senior civil servant Sue Gray has said that many of them “should not have been allowed to take place or to develop in the way that they did.” Here is what we know about them and the restrictions in place at the time:

    A photo from May 2020 showed the prime minister and his staff with bottles of wine and a cheeseboard in the Downing Street garden. When asked about it, Boris Johnson said “those people were at work talking about work”.

    Image caption Boris Johnson was pictured with his wife Carrie as well as Downing Street staff

    Image copyright by Guardian/Eyevine

    The rules:

    Legal restrictions at the time said you could not leave your house without a reasonable excuse and government guidance was that you could meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor setting while exercising.

    This event is not being investigated by the police.

    About 100 people were invited by email to “socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden this evening”. Witnesses told the BBC the PM and his wife were among about 30 people who attended. Boris Johnson has declined to say whether he was among those there.

    This event is being investigated by the police.

    A gathering took place in the Cabinet Office to mark the departure of a No 10 private secretary.

    This event is being investigated by the police.

    On Boris Johnson’s birthday, up to 30 people gathered in the Cabinet Room at No 10 to present the prime minister with a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday, according to a report by ITV News.

    No 10 said staff had “gathered briefly” to “wish the prime minister a happy birthday”, adding that he had been there “for less than 10 minutes”.

    The rules:

    Restrictions at the time banned most indoor gatherings involving more than two people.

    This event is being investigated by the police.

    Sources told the BBC that Downing Street staff members attended a gathering with Carrie Johnson in the flat where she and the prime minister live. A spokesman for Mrs Johnson denies the party took place. There was a separate gathering in No 10 Downing Street  on the same day to mark the departure of a special adviser.

    The rules:

    Eight days earlier Boris Johnson had announced a new lockdown in England. Indoor gatherings with other households were banned, unless they were for work purposes.

    These events are being investigated by the police.

    A leaving event was held for No 10 aide, Cleo Watson, where people were drinking, and Mr Johnson made a speech, according to sources.

    This event is not being investigated by the police.

    The Department for Education has confirmed it had an office gathering to thank staff for their work during the pandemic. It says drinks and snacks were brought by those who attended and no outside guests or support staff were invited.

    The rules:

    Eight days earlier, London had been placed in restrictions which banned two or more people from different households from meeting indoors, unless “reasonably necessary” for work purposes.

    This event is not being investigated by the police.

    The Conservative Party has admitted that an “unauthorised gathering” took place at its HQ in Westminster. It was held by the team of the party’s London-mayoral candidate, Shaun Bailey, who has since stepped down as chair of the London Assembly police and crime committee. The Metropolitan Police is to speak to two people who attended the party.

    The gathering at the Conservative Party headquarters was described as ‘raucous’
    Image caption The gathering at the Conservative Party headquarters was described as ‘raucous’

    Image copyright by Daily Mirror

    This event was not included in Sue Gray’s report.

    Multiple sources have told the BBC there was a Christmas quiz for No 10 staff last year. A photo – published by the Sunday Mirror – shows Boris Johnson taking part and sitting between two colleagues in No 10. Mr Johnson has denied any wrongdoing.

    Mr Johnson was pictured in the No 10 library under a portrait of Margaret Thatcher
    Image caption Mr Johnson was pictured in the No 10 library under a portrait of Margaret Thatcher

    Image copyright by Sunday Mirror

    This event is not being investigated by the police.

    The Department for Transport has apologised after confirming reports of a party in its offices, calling it “inappropriate” and an “error of judgment” by staff.

    The rules:

    London moved into the highest tier of restrictions and Matt Hancock, who was health secretary at the time, said it was important “everyone is cautious” ahead of the festive period.

    This event was not included in Sue Gray’s report.

    A leaving party was held at the Cabinet Office for the outgoing head of the civil service Covid taskforce – the team responsible for drawing up coronavirus restrictions.

    Kate Josephs, now chief executive of Sheffield City Council, apologised for the event, saying she was “truly sorry that I did this and for the anger that people will feel as a result”.

    A second gathering was held in the Cabinet Office to hold an online Christmas quiz for the Cabinet Secretary’s private office.

    A third gathering was held in No 10 Downing Street to mark the departure of a No 10 official

    These events are being investigated by the police.

    Downing Street originally denied a report by the Daily Mirror that a party took place in Downing Street. However, a video obtained by ITV News showed the prime minister’s then-press secretary Allegra Stratton, joking about reports of an event, saying: “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.”

    This event is being investigated by the police.

    A gathering was held in No 10 Downing Street to mark the departure of two private secretaries.

    This event is being investigated by the police.

    Two parties were held by Downing Street staff at No 10, the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.

    One of the events was a leaving party for the PM’s then director of communications James Slack, who has apologised for the event and acknowledged it “should not have happened at the time that it did”.

    Boris Johnson was not at either party.

    The rules

    The rules had been eased in England on 12 April, but working from home continued to be recommended and socialising indoors with people from other households was not allowed. Meeting others outdoors was limited to groups of six people or two households.

    These events are being investigated by the police.

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