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20th Dec 2021

Downing Street defends PM over photo seeming to show lockdown garden gathering

Kieran Galpin

Boris Johnson

‘Work meetings often take place in the Downing Street garden’

Downing Street has defended the Prime Minister and other Government officials after pictures surfaced from yet another gathering during the first national lockdown.

Boris Johnson is again in the firing line after the Guardian published images showing the PM, Carrie Johnson, and colleagues with wine and cheese on May 15 2020.

Of course, at the same time the image was taken, the rest of the UK was grappling with restrictions. Pubs and restaurants were still closed at this time and would not open back up to the public for another two months.

Similarly, schools were still shut.

Closing ranks, a spokesperson for Number 10 said: “As we said last week, work meetings often take place in the Downing Street garden in the summer months. On this occasion there were staff meetings following a Number 10 press conference.”

“Downing Street is the prime minister’s home as well as his workplace. The prime minister’s wife lives in Number 10 and therefore also legitimately uses the garden.”

At the time, the then health secretary Matt Hancock said: “You can meet one other person from outside your household in an outdoor, public place. But please keep two metres apart.”

While Number 10 has defended the PM, the public has once again taken to Twitter to share their discontent.

“Boris Johnson’s No. 10 lies so often, and with such ease. This is no laughing matter,” tweeted Labour MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “I guess staff meetings look a bit different if you went to Eton?

“Enough is enough. Tell us the truth about what was going on in Downing Street from the very beginning immediately.”

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