Covid: Met Police considering complaints over Boris Johnson Downing Street Christmas parties

The Metropolitan Police have said they are considering complaints from Labour MPs that Boris Johnson and his No.10 staff held Christmas parties in breach of Covid regulations.

Labour backbenchers Neil Coyle and Barry Gardiner have each written to Scotland Yard asking police to investigate reports that two parties were held in the run-up to last Christmas at a time when such gatherings were banned.

Mr Johnson has not denied the events took place, but said no rules were broken – although he has repeatedly refused to explain how that could be the case.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands in front of the Downing Street Christmas tree as he makes a speech. Picture: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said while it did not routinely investigate “retrospective” breaches of the Covid regulations, it was considering the correspondence it had received.

On Wednesday, it was reported the Prime Minister gave a speech at a packed leaving-do for a senior aide in November last year when the country was in the midst of the second lockdown.

Members of his No.10 team reportedly then held their own festive party in the days before Christmas, while London was under Tier 3 restrictions.

In each case, there were reportedly 40 or 50 people crammed “cheek by jowl” into a medium-sized room in No.10.

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

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

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

“If these events did take place, it implies that there is one rule for the Government and another for everyone else,” he said.

Separately, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has written to the Cabinet secretary Simon Case to ask whether he had considered referring the matter to the Met.

In a statement, the force said: “It is our policy not to routinely investigate retrospective breaches of the Covid-19 regulations. We will, however, consider the correspondence received.”

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