Politics 17:59 18/01/2022 World

British PM: Nobody warned me drinks event was against rules

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has "categorically" denied he was warned a drinks party in the No 10 garden risked breaking lockdown rules, BBC News reports.

"Nobody warned me that it was against the rules," the prime minister said, adding: "I would have remembered that."

Former aide Dominic Cummings says he warned Mr Johnson at the time, and has accused him of misleading MPs about it.

Asked if he would resign if he was found to have misled MPs, Mr Johnson said: "Let's see what the report says."

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is due to publish a report into alleged Covid rule breaking at lockdown get-togethers in Downing Street and government departments.

In his blog, Mr Cummings, who was still working in Downing Street at the time of the drinks party on 20 May 2020, said the prime minister had been told that it would break Covid guidelines.

He added that he had warned Mr Johnson about the gathering but the PM had "waved it aside".

Two other former Downing Street officials told the BBC they remembered Mr Cummings telling them on that day he had advised the prime minister not to allow the drinks to go ahead.

Asked about Mr Cummings' claims on a visit to a North London hospital, Mr Johnson said: "I can tell you categorically that nobody said that this was something that was against the rules, that was in breach of the Covid rules."

He repeated the apology he made to MPs last week for "mistakes" made over the May 2020 gathering and his insistence that he had believed it was a "work event".

He said he had not seen the email sent by his Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds inviting staff to "socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden".

"I only saw it the other day. I only saw it when it emerged," said the PM.



Source Panorama.am
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