What do new Partygate photographs reveal about PM’s ‘rules were followed’ declare? | Boris Johnson

The prime minister is seen with a smile on his face, his purple ministerial case positioned on the ground, elevating a plastic cup of white or glowing wine in a toast with no less than eight Downing Street officers.

Standing in a circle, a desk overflowing with celebration fare within the foreground, they’re a collection of photographs that maybe mirror a typical leaving-do scene.

But this was not a typical time. On 13 November 2020, when the photograph was taken, England was eight days into its second nationwide lockdown underneath coronavirus legal guidelines. More than 51,000 folks had died after testing constructive for Covid at this stage, in response to official UK authorities figures.

The prime minister repeatedly advised the House of Commons that each one guidelines have been adopted in No 10 and he had been unaware of any law-breaking events.

Looking on the photographs, can that be proper?

1. Johnson is standing in a circle with no less than eight officers pictured, though it’s understood there have been extra attendees out of shot. There is not any social distancing, which was really useful on the time. The prime minister knew the principles properly – he had introduced them to the general public stay on tv on 31 October.

2. The prime minister is seen elevating his plastic cup of wine in a single picture and gesticulating emphatically in others, clearly addressing the room in what’s more likely to have been a speech for his departing aide, the then director of communications, Lee Cain. Social gatherings indoors have been banned, whereas pubs and eating places have been shut.

3. The desk is loaded with celebration meals and drinks, together with 5 open bottles of wine – 4 bottles of purple and one bottle of white. The picture of the prime minister socialising merrily along with his officers will most likely increase questions as to why he was not given a fixed-penalty discover by the Metropolitan police for attending this gathering. He has been issued with a £50 penalty for a special gathering, his celebration on 19 June 2020.

4. A bottle of clear spirits, reportedly gin, sits two-thirds empty.

5. There is a sealed bottle of glowing wine, prepared for opening. The Guardian understands the police issued penalty notices to some individuals who attended the occasion.

6. A plate of biscuits with two packets of crisps or nuts positioned on prime.

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7. There are two empty however used wine glasses and a stack of plastic cups.

8. A takeaway container, reportedly from the Indian restaurant Dishoom.

9. A pump bottle of hand sanitiser and a tube of antibacterial wipes might be seen positioned on the desk. Ministers, officers and chief advisers have been nonetheless pushing the necessity to preserve hand hygiene. The official “hands, face, space” slogan was launched in September 2020 and dominated the general public well being message for a lot of the pandemic.

10. A purple ministerial briefcase, used to carry and transport official authorities papers.

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