Metropolitan Police Considering Labour MPs’ Complaint About Downing Street Christmas Party

The Metropolitan Police is weighing up whether to investigate “retrospective breaches” of Covid laws amid calls for an investigation of a No 10 Christmas party held during 2020’s restrictions. BBC News has more.

The party took place on December 18th, with a source telling the BBC that “several dozen” people attended.

However, Covid restrictions in place at the time banned such events.

The PM, who was not at the party, said no Covid rules were broken but No 10 has not said how party-goers complied.

A source who attended the event told the BBC that party games were played, food and drink were served, and the party went on past midnight.

The Mirror newspaper, which was the first to report the claims, also said Boris Johnson gave a speech at a “packed leaving do” for an aide on November 27th, when the country was in its second lockdown and socialising was banned.

Writing separately to Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick on Friday, Labour MPs Neil Coyle and Barry Gardiner called for a full investigation into whether or not any laws had been broken.

Sharing his letter on Twitter, Coyle, the MP for Bermondsey and Southwark, in south London, said from reading the guidance, he believed “holding these events was a breach of the rules at the time”.

He said: “Like most constituents, I followed the rules and did not see my own dad last Christmas and, sadly, it was to be his last.

“The sense of outrage from constituents is palpable that they followed the rules whilst those responsible for devising and enforcing them were breaching them at the top of Government.”

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: The Guardian has the same story on its live Coronavirus blog.

In the U.K., 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.

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.

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

On Wednesday, the Daily Mirror reported the prime minister gave a speech at a packed leaving-do for a senior aide last November when the country was in the midst of the second lockdown.