Covid: Boris Johnson insists he 'certainly broke no rules' amid allegations of No10 parties

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports on the difficult situation Boris Johnson finds himself in

Boris Johnson has insisted he "certainly broke no rules" amid numerous allegations that Covid laws were repeatedly breached in Downing Street during last winter's lockdown.

The most recent accusation is that Covid rules were broken in Number 10 on December 15 last year when Mr Johnson virtually hosted a Christmas quiz.

It is alleged by the Daily Mirror that rules were broken because staff members participating in the quiz were huddled by computers in their Downing Street offices, conferring on questions and drinking alcohol.

The prime minister ordered an inquiry into alleged rule-breaking in Downing Street last year after ITV News released a video showing some of his senior advisers laughing about a party which allegedly took place on December 18, while London was under Tier 3 restrictions.

Mr Johnson confirmed that the investigation, being carried out by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, will look into the quiz along with accusations that rules were broken on December 10 at a festive drinks party held at the Department for Education.

But, when asked about the reports, the PM said: "I can tell you that I certainly broke no rules."

"All that is being looked into. But if I may respectfully say to you... of course, all that must be properly gone into - you'll be hearing from the Cabinet Secretary about it all."

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He said the findings of Mr Case's report will be published "as soon as we reasonably can".

The Cabinet Secretary is also looking into claims of government rule breaking at a November 27 staff leaving do in No10.

Downing Street has confirmed Mr Johnson “briefly” attended the “virtual” quiz at the tail end of last year.

An image published by the Sunday Mirror shows the Prime Minister flanked by colleagues, one of whom is draped in tinsel and another wearing a Santa hat, in the No 10 library.

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Tier 2 restrictions that London was under on December 15 stated that there could be no mixing of households indoors, apart from support bubbles, and a maximum of six people outside.

Official guidance set out that there should not be work lunches or parties “where that is a primarily social activity” and was not exempted for “work purposes”.

The Metropolitan Police said they do not intend to investigate claims of Christmas parties in Downing Street at this time, despite the photographic evidence published by the Mirror.

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Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “Despite repeated denials of parties in Number 10, it has now transpired that there were numerous parties, gatherings and the Prime Minister even took part in a festive quiz.

“It appears that Boris Johnson lied to the country and broke the law.

“It is increasingly clear that the Prime Minister presided over a culture of ignoring the rules that he told everyone else to follow. It’s time to fess up.

“Boris Johnson and the Conservatives really believe it’s one rule for them, another for everyone else.”