Met ‘considers’ complaints No 10 Xmas parties breached Covid rules

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The Metropolitan Police have said they are considering complaints from Labor MPs that Boris Johnson and his number 10 staff organized Christmas parties in violation of COVID rules.

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Labor backbenchers Neil Coyle and Barry Gardiner have written to Scotland Yard asking police to investigate reports that the two parties were held at the end of Christmas, when such gatherings were banned.

Mr Johnson has not denied the incidents, but said no rules were broken – although he has repeatedly declined to explain how it could have happened.

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The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that while it did not regularly investigate “retrospective” violations of COVID rules, it was considering correspondence it had received.

On Wednesday, the Daily Mirror reported that the prime minister had delivered a speech in a packed living-do for a senior aide last November, when the country was in the middle of a second lockdown.

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The newspaper said members of their number 10 team held their own celebratory party in the days before Christmas, while London was subject to Tier 3 restrictions.

In each case, the newspaper reported, a medium-sized room at No. 10 was filled by 40 or 50 people coded “cheek by jowl”.

In his letter to the police, Mr Coyle said: “The sense of outrage from the constituents is evident that they followed the rules, while those responsible for framing and implementing them were violating them at the top of the government.

“The Prime Minister has been questioned on this and he has replied that ‘no covid rules were broken’ but from reading the guidance I believe that even holding these events was a violation of the rules at that time. “

In his letter, Mr Gardiner expressed surprise that when Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick was interviewed on the LBC on Friday, he said the force was not investigating the matter because he had not received correspondence on it.

“If these incidents happened, it means there is one rule for the government and another for everyone,” he said.

“I believe that your officers should investigate the matter further to establish the facts and see if any laws have been broken.”

Separately, Labor Deputy Leader Angela Renner has written to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to ask whether she has considered referring the matter to the Met.

In a statement, the force said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of the extensive reporting and has received correspondence relating to alleged violations of health safety norms in a government building on two dates in November and December 2020.

“It is our policy not to regularly investigate retrospective violations of the COVID-19 regulations; However, we will consider the correspondence received.”

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