Just as things are now extremely bad for pubs and restaurants in London, which have seen trade decimated by the arrival of the omicron variant of COVID-19, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is having a nightmare before Christmas. Scandal and crises after scandal have left the PM looking bruised and on the ropes heading into the Christmas holidays. Fortunately for him, this is a holiday in which his two favourite things (after lying) are in plentiful supply: cheese and wine.
Yes, over the weekend, the Guardian published a photograph of Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds with other aides and staff drinking wine and eating cheese in the garden of Downing Street in May 2020. “Work meeting,” is the official line. Because this, lest it be forgotten, was a time when rules prevented groups socialising in such ways and a two-metre distancing order was in place — rules stated that individuals could meet one other person outside. Yet it seems that throughout 2020, 10 Downing Street was a rule-free zone. Indeed, the amount of cheese and wine allegedly being put away behind that door, it might easily have been mistaken for a Corona-time cave.
In the few days since details emerged about the cheeses and wines which were not served at the Downing Street Christmas party that did not happen on 18 December, it has emerged that the Prime Minister, his staff, colleagues and/or associates actually might have had a party after all. In no particular order, in addition to the photographed event in May 2020, here’s a running list of rule-breached activities at the heart of government last year:
- Johnson allegedly held a Christmas quiz
- Johnson allegedly attended a pizza party
- Others had another party; others had a couple of leaving dos
- The guy investigating two of the above events had his own literal “Christmas party!”
- The Tory’s Mayoral candidate had a fully catered gathering in which the only thing worse than the canapés was the guest list.