There will not be a Christmas party at Downing Street this year, despite previous plans, a spokesperson for No 10 has confirmed.
Boris Johnson has been under fire over a series of parties which are alleged to have taken place in Downing Street last year, when tighter Covid restrictions were in place.
At a glance: 5 key points
- A spokesperson for No 10 has said that the Omicron variant is “taking up a great deal of time at the moment” and there are currently “no plans” for a Christmas party in Downing Street
- No 10 had previously announced that a Christmas party would take place, although that was prior to the numerous reports of parties which took place while Covid restrictions were in place last year
- Despite speculation that the cancellation of this year’s party relates to the controversy over last year’s events, the spokesperson claimed the decision was taken after the decision on moving to ‘Plan B’
- During a Covid press conference on Wednesday, the prime minister said that people should work from home if possible, but that Christmas parties and nights out could go ahead as planned
- Johnson has been widely criticised over both the alleged parties and the way he has handled the scandal, including by those within his own party
What’s been said?
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “I think we’ve made clear since the latest situation with Omicron, obviously that’s taking up a great deal of time at the moment.
“There’s no plans for that in No 10.”
Asked when the decision was taken, the spokesman said: “Following the decision on Plan B and the latest data that we’ve got.”
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “Boris Johnson, through the lies he’s told again and again and again, has stretched the boundaries of credibility”.
He said: “I’m sure Boris Johnson is busy planning who he is going to throw under the bus next.
“We’ve had the resignation of Allegra Stratton, there are questions now about the Prime Minister’s communications director, but you know, whether it’s Allegra Stratton, Jack Doyle, Dominic Cummings, Gavin Williamson, Matt Hancock, these people who have flagrantly broken the rules and in full view of the public with no accountability, they have one thing in common and that’s the man who’s appointed them and his judgment.
“And I’m afraid it’s his untrustworthy nature, his disorganisation, his dishonesty, which is undermining trust in public health measures.”