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COVID-19: Number 10 defends photo of Boris Johnson and staff in Downing Street garden with wine and cheese at time of tough social restrictions

Number 10 has defended a photo which appears to show Boris Johnson and staff relaxing and drinking in the Downing Street garden at a time of tough social restrictions in May 2020.

The picture, published by The Guardian, shows the prime minister, his wife Carrie, and colleagues with wine and cheese.

Nineteen people were present and there were “spirits and piz zainside and outside the building”, the newspaper reported.

EXCLUSIVE: Boris Johnson and staff pictured with wine in Downing Street garden in May 2020theguardian.comBoris Johnson and staff pictured with wine in Downing Street garden in May 2020Exclusive: photograph raises fresh questions for No 10 after denial of a social event at time of Covid restrictions

It happened at a time when people were still being asked to remain two metres apart, even outdoors, and being urged to “stay at home as much as is possible”.

Schools did not reopen for another fortnight, while pubs and restaurants remained closed until early July.

Downing Street insists the picture shows a “staff meeting”.

“As we said last week, work meetings often take place in the Downing Street garden in the summer months. On this occasion there were staff meetings following a No10 press conference,” said a spokesman.



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