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