Downing Street Picture: Boris Johnson owes an explanation for 'cheese and wine' garden party says Murdo Fraser

MSP Murdo Fraser has said that Downing Street and Boris Johnson owe the country an explanation for the recent image which has emerged showing politicians, and Mr Johnson’s wife, enjoying wine and cheese in the Number 10 garden during the first national lockdown.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Mr Fraser, the Covid-19 recovery spokesperson for the Scottish Government, said he believes the explanation will be “forthcoming" and added that politicians from all over the United Kingdom have been “caught out in unfortunate circumstances” over the past year.

He said: “We saw individuals who are now ministers in the Scottish Government and members of the green party being photographed in a pub in Edinburgh, not adhering to the rules at the time back in May.

“We also saw members of the Scottish Government being caught out having broken the rules earlier in the year. I'm sure there'll be an explanation coming from the UK Government for that particular photograph. I think it's really unfortunate.”

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The Guardian and The Independent previously reported that Mr Johnson was present for 15 minutes at the gathering following a Covid-19 press conference on May 15, 2020.

In the photograph Mr Johnson can be seen sitting around a garden table with his then-fiancee Carrie, and two members of staff.

On the table are bottles of wine and a cheeseboard.

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Downing Street Picture: Boris Johnson owes an explanation for 'cheese and wine' garden party says Murdo Fraser

Four other members of staff are sitting around a second table a distance away and nine people are then gathered on the grass, with another two sitting on the floor to the right.

Mr Fraser added: “All people in positions of responsibility should have to lead by example, I think it’s really unfortunate that when they don’t do that – whether in the UK Government, the Scottish Government or any other environment.”

Downing Street has insisted the gathering was within the rules, and a spokesman previously said: “On May 15 2020 the Prime Minister held a series of meetings throughout the afternoon, including briefly with the then health and care secretary and his team in the garden following a press conference.

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“The Prime Minister went to his residence shortly after 7pm."

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