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Quantity 10 would not deny workers held ‘wine-time Fridays’ all through COVID restrictions | Politics Information

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Boris Johnson is going through claims that common ingesting classes had been held in Downing Avenue all through the COVID pandemic with studies that workers held “wine-time Fridays”.

In contemporary allegations within the “partygate” scandal engulfing the prime minister, it’s alleged that the weekly occasion was scheduled into the digital calendars of round 50 workers in Quantity 10 between 4pm and 7pm each Friday.

Quantity 10 didn’t deny the claims however pointed to the continued Whitehall investigation into a number of allegations of COVID breaches in Downing Avenue and different authorities buildings throughout the pandemic.

Based on the Day by day Mirror, the weekly drinks are a long-standing Downing Avenue custom that continued even after COVID restrictions had been launched.

The newspaper revealed {a photograph} of what it reported was a £142 drinks fridge being delivered by means of Downing Avenue’s again entrance on 11 December, 2020.

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On the time, London was beneath “Tier 2” restrictions, which prevented individuals from mixing with different households indoors.

A most of six individuals from completely different households had been permitted to combine outside, and people who may make money working from home had been urged to take action.

The Day by day Mirror report mentioned the Friday gatherings sometimes went on as late as midnight, with as much as two dozen aides ingesting wine and beer and enjoying video games comparable to Pictionary.

The newspaper claimed the prime minister attended a handful of the occasions at factors when indoor socialising was banned.

He’s additionally mentioned to have inspired workers to “let off steam”.

The prime minister’s alleged attendance included an occasion on 13 November 2020, when England was in a second nationwide lockdown.

It was additionally the identical day that Mr Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, left Downing Avenue for the ultimate time following a bitter inside row.

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One supply informed the newspaper of the occasions: “Boris used to cease by for a chat whereas they’d a drink.

“It was on the best way as much as his flat and the door was normally open. He knew about it and inspired it.”

The prime minister is already reeling from a number of allegations of events being held in Downing Avenue throughout instances of powerful COVID restrictions.

On Friday, Number 10 apologised to the Queen over two events held in Downing Avenue on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral in April final yr – a service for which Her Majesty was pressured to take a seat alone beneath COVID guidelines.

Senior civil servant Sue Grey is at the moment investigating numerous claims of lockdown-busting occasions in Downing Avenue and different authorities buildings.

She shouldn’t be anticipated to publish her findings till subsequent week on the earliest.

In response to the Day by day Mirror allegations of “wine-time Fridays”, a Quantity 10 spokesperson mentioned: “There’s an ongoing investigation to ascertain the details across the nature of gatherings, together with attendance, setting and the aim on the subject of adherence to the steering on the time.

“The findings shall be made public in the end.”

Mr Johnson has not spoken in public since Wednesday, when he admitted to attending a “deliver your individual booze” occasion within the Downing Avenue backyard throughout the first nationwide lockdown in Might 2020.

The prime minister cancelled a go to to Lancashire on Thursday, with Quantity 10 explaining that considered one of Mr Johnson’s relations had examined Positive for COVID.

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