LONDON (AP) – The British opposition Labor Party has filed complaints with police about Christmas parties held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s staff at his office last year in violation of coronavirus restrictions.
It has been reported that many in the UK and elsewhere are increasingly concerned about holiday parties and socializing at Christmas this year amid the proliferation of a new version of the omicron.
Labor lawmakers have written to the London Metropolitan Police to investigate reports that the two parties took place at 10 Downing Street on the eve of last Christmas, at a time when people were prohibited from communicating indoors with anyone other than their family members.
On Saturday, police said they were aware of “widespread reports” of “alleged health violations” at the government building in November and December. It says that while it does not routinely investigate “flashback” violations of COVID-19 rules, it does review complaints.
The Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday that Johnson’s team had a holiday party ahead of last Christmas while London was under strict COVID-19 restrictions. Johnson also reportedly gave a speech at the senior assistant’s farewell party last November when the country was isolated.
The newspaper reported that there were 40-50 people in each party.
“If these events did take place, that means there is one rule for the government and another for everyone else,” said Labor MP Barry Gardiner.
Johnson did not deny that the events took place, but said that no rules were violated, although he did not go into details under pressure.
The UK government re-introduced mandatory mask wearing in stores and on public transport this week after lifting nearly all coronavirus restrictions and social distancing rules in the summer.
Several academics, including Jenny Harris, head of the UK’s Health Safety Agency, have warned that people should not communicate unnecessarily over the coming holidays. But Johnson argued that the government would not change its leadership on “how people should live their lives,” and said that people should not cancel events such as parties and school Christmas shows.
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