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No 10 was ‘oasis of normality’ where Covid rules were not enforced – official

15 Jun 2023 2 minute read
Photo issued by the House of Commons showing the then prime minister Boris Johnson (right) at a gathering celebrating his birthday

Inside No 10 was an “oasis of normality” where Covid rules went ignored while staff were warned to watch out for cameras outside, an official told the Privileges Committee.

In written evidence, the worker said “Wine Time Fridays” and birthday parties continued while the rest of the country faced harsh restrictions on socialising.

The official said they asked if masks should be worn in March 2020 but was told there was “no point” – a remark they described as “part of a wider culture of not adhering to any rules”.

But security urged staff to be “mindful” of potential scrutiny outside the building, urging them to follow guidance when they left, the official said.

“No 10 was like an island oasis of normality. Operational notes were sent out from the security team to be mindful of the cameras outside the door, not to go out in groups and to social distance. It was all pantomime,” the statement reads.

“Birthday parties, leaving parties and end-of-week gatherings all continued as normal. Those responsible for the leadership of No 10 failed to keep it a safe space and should have set rules from the start that these gatherings should not continue.

“It was only more than a year into the pandemic that No 10 set up a one-way system and desk divider screens.”

The official’s evidence was relied upon by the cross-party group of MPs in its report finding Boris Johnson deliberately misled the Commons with his assurances about the so-called partygate scandal.


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David Smith
David Smith
8 months ago

Raises crucially signifiant and totally embarrassing questions for Mr Case, the most senior UK civil servant based in No 10. His resignation is not expected any time soon.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
8 months ago

I am beyond outraged: I despair of the political class.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
8 months ago

I told my weeping partner through tears of my own that we just needed to sit tight. She just needed to self-isolate and keep herself safe because of her compromised immunity and I would work on a way to travel the twenty-odd miles to see her, “…everyone’s going through the same thing baby, just hang tight and we will be together again soon.” Most of our conversations in 2020 had that same theme cropping up in them…and oh so many tears. My brother wanted to come and comfort me when Debra died, but I forbade him from coming, I didn’t… Read more »

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Superb rage. I think that tremendous curse should seriously worry the guilty recipient. I feel those bad vibes on my own moral Richter scale. I was never allowed to see my aged mother when she died in her nursing home during Lockdown as we suffered under all the crazed restrictions. She had to leave this world comfortless because the hypocrite Boris Johnson wouldn’t moderate the draconian regime he himself sanctioned and yet he cynically allowed himself and his cronies to ignore it as a needless inconvenience to their junketing. Really, ‘hatred’ would be too mild a description of the incandescent… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Philip Davies
Mawkernewek
8 months ago

So it is confirmed security at No. 10 Downing Street were very much complicit, and presumably this includes the Metropolitan Police assigned to the building?

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
8 months ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

‘One rule . . .’

Windy
Windy
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

It is clear the police need policing they are not capable of doing it themselves, the lawbreakers are being looked after by the lawbreakers

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