Boris Johnson: I broke no rules over Christmas parties
Boris Johnson has said he “certainly broke no rules” as questions continue to plague the government over parties during lockdown last Christmas.
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A picture published in the Sunday Mirror showed the PM at a virtual quiz in Downing Street, appearing on screen alongside two colleagues.
But sources have told the BBC other No 10 staff members sat in groups of six in a room in Cabinet Office.
Mr Johnson denied any wrongdoing but said the event would be investigated.
The prime minister’s spokesman confirmed senior civil servant Simon Case, who was tasked with the probe into government parties last week, was now investigating the quiz.
It means he is looking into four events in total.
The PM said Mr Case would report back “as soon as we reasonably can”.
The government has been under increasing pressure over lockdown gatherings after the news broke of a party in Downing Street on 18 December 2020 – when London was under Tier 3 restrictions and the announcement of a new country-wide lockdown was looming.
Mr Johnson said he had been assured all rules were followed, but a leaked video of No 10 staffers joking about the event led to one of them resigning and the PM asking the Cabinet Office to launch an investigation.
Other allegations about parties across government departments began to emerge, including several sources telling the BBC about a quiz on 15 December, organised in advance by No 10 staff, with groups of employees gathered in a policy unit room to take part.
On Sunday, a picture of Mr Johnson taking part in the event – when the capital was under Tier 2 restrictions – was published by the Sunday Mirror, which claimed he hosted a round of the quiz alongside colleagues, who were wearing tinsel and a Santa hat.