PMQs: Boris Johnson says Keir Starmer ‘dribbles on irrelevantly’
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Boris Johnson, 57, has faced down criticism from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, 59, following reports Number 10 held parties in the run-up to Christmas in 2020. A Number 10 spokesperson claimed Downing Street has followed coronavirus guidelines at all times.
They said: “Covid rules have been followed at all times.”
A spokesman from inside the Prime Minister’s residence reiterated the position during a regular briefing with journalists on Wednesday.
“At all stages the rules have been followed,” they said.
The Prime Minister is said to have given a leaving speech before a packed Downing Street room for a top aide on November 27, just days before the second national lockdown in England was replaced by a stricter tiered system.
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According to the Mirror, Mr Johnson’s Downing Street staff also hosted a Christmas party on December 18, while England was placed in tier three COVID-19 restrictions.
The Prime Minister is not believed to have been in attendance.
Under tier three restrictions, which were considered a “very high alert” by the UK Government, “no mixing of households indoors, or most outdoor places, apart from support bubbles.”
Reports also suggested Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie, 33, had hosted parties but the allegations have also been denied.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s wife said: “This is total nonsense.
“Mrs Johnson has followed coronavirus rules at all times and it is categorically untrue to suggest otherwise.”
Mr Starmer accused Mr Johnson of “taking the British public for fools” during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
The MP for Holborn & St Pancras said: “The defence seems to be no rules were broken.
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“Well, I’ve got the rules that were in place at the time Prime Minister, of this party, they’re very clear.”
“You must not have a work Christmas lunch or party.
“Does the Prime Minister really expect the country to believe that while people were banned from seeing their loved ones at Christmas last year, it was fine for him and his friends to throw a boozy party in Downing Street?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I’ve said what I’ve said about Number 10 and the events of 12 months ago but since he asks about what we’re asking the country to do this year which I think is, frankly, a more relevant consideration.”
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