The Prime Minister has sparked further outrage after a photo of him taking part in a Christmas quiz at Downing Street last year has been revealed by the Sunday Mirror.
The quiz reportedly took place on 15 December when indoor household mixing was still banned in London and office social gatherings including Christmas parties were explicitly not allowed.
The photo showed Johnson sat between two colleagues during the event. Many staff were huddled around computers to confer on questions, drinking alcohol and in one location, there were four teams of six people, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Official guidelines at the time stated: “although there are exemptions for work purposes, you must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in your tier.”
Downing Street reportedly said the prime minister “briefly took part virtually in a quiz” to thank staff for their efforts during the pandemic. Staff were reportedly invited to the virtual quiz two weeks in advance.
The news has added further fuel to the flames as Downing Street has come under intense scrutiny following allegations of several gatherings last Christmas in spite of Covid restrictions.
Earlier this week Johnson announced restrictions just hours after apologising for a video showing his staff laughing about a Christmas party in Downing Street last year – when most had called off their festive celebrations and could not leave the capital to visit friends and family elsewhere in the country.
Allegations of lockdown gatherings at Downing Street have even led to an internal investigation being launched.
While “Britons across the country were doing the right thing, Boris Johnson was instead happy to preside over a culture of disregard for the rules at the heart of government,” said Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, according to widespread reports.
She concluded her scathing comments by adding: “He [Boris Johnson] is a man unfit to lead this country.”