Boris Johnson is on the ropes. Not because of the disastrous effects of Brexit which only passed because of some of the whoppers that he told, but because of a Christmas party held last year at 10 Downing Street at a time when the UK was under a strict lockdown.
The Daily Mirror broke the story:
Boris Johnson and his Downing Street staff have been accused of breaking rules by attending parties at Number 10 in the run-up to last Christmas.
The Prime Minister gave a speech at a packed leaving do for a top aide last November when the country was in the grip of its second lockdown.
Then just days before Christmas, with London in tier 3 restrictions, members of his top team held their own festive bash in Downing Street.
Officials knocked back glasses of wine during a Christmas quiz and a Secret Santa while the rest of the country was forced to stay at home.
Around “40 or 50” people were said to have been crammed “cheek by jowl” into a medium-sized room in Number 10 for each of the two events.
“It was a Covid nightmare,” one source claimed.
The tories have applied a number of responses, firstly to claim that any gatherings accorded with the Covid guidelines, then to claim they were assured that the gatherings observed the guidelines.
They engaged with stretching the English language to breaking point. It was not a party, just a business meeting with cheese and crackers.
The press and the public have been getting really techy.
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) December 8, 2021
And news of other ore Christmas parties and gatherings have been leaking out.
The timing is appalling for Johnson. At a time when he is requiring the country to go back into a Covid Omicron inspired lockdown the suggestion that his senior advisers and contacts can ignore the rules without embarrassment is jarring.
Johnson has gone from denying that any breach occurred to ordering a review into what happened. If it is established that he has lied to Parliament then he will be in big trouble. A Christmas party may succeed in achieving what Brexit failed to do.