Is this the 'Partygate' picture of Boris Johnson we've all been waiting for?
From bad to worse for Boris Johnson
A new image has emerged showing Boris Johnson and other members of staff next to an open bottle of champagne during the No. 10 Christmas quiz in December 2020.
The picture, revealed by the Mirror on Wednesday, appears to have been taken via the virtual quiz itself and shows the prime minister flanked by three members of staff and what appears to be a bottle of Verve Clicquot.
EXCL: New bombshell image shows Boris Johnson with open bottle of bubbly at No 10 Christmas quiz https://t.co/2eK8mNvjdu
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) February 9, 2022
The Christmas quiz was confirmed to have taken place last year while London was still under Tier 2 social covid restrictions, which banned mixing between two or more people from different households.
This is not one of the parties currently being investigated in the 'Partygate' scandal, as the socially distanced nature was deemed not to have been a clear breach; however, these new shots suggest a more social affair not only with food and alcohol but with multiple people from different households.
Fabian Hamilton, the Labour representative for Leeds North East, called out the PM over the picture during Wednesday's PMQs - nevertheless, Johnson defended his actions, saying, "he is completely in error:"
.@FabianLeedsNE told Boris Johnson about the photo of him surrounded by booze and people wearing tinsel, minutes after it emerged.
Johnson told the MP he must be “in error” #PMQs pic.twitter.com/ulo9BY1g80
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) February 9, 2022
However, Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings has already chimed in on the picture, saying there are "waaaaay better" pictures of the PM and, presumably, other members of his staff out there.
there's waaaaay better pics than that floating around, incl in the flat
— Dominic Cummings (@Dominic2306) February 9, 2022
Those reacting to the new images on social media have also pointed out that a previous comment from the education secretary Nadhim Zahawi, defending the prime minister, attempts to tell a different version of events:
— Ashley Cowburn (@ashcowburn) February 9, 2022
Johnson is still under criminal investigation for a number of alleged illegal parties over the course of the pandemic, with more than 300 photos said to have been handed to Scotland Yard.
It remains to be seen whether this event will be taken into consideration.
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