Downing Street held social gatherings dubbed ‘wine-time Fridays’ during pandemic lockdowns

A previous No 10 source, who operated at the UK Prime Minister’s main house all through 2020, validated to CNN that such events frequently happened. The source stated other individuals described them as “wine-time Fridays,” however the source did not personally go to the occasions.

Discoveries of various celebrations at Downing Street — consisting of one on the night prior to Prince Philip’s funeral service last April — have actually triggered a significant political scandal for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and triggered concerns about how long he can make it through as leader of the governing Conservative celebration.

When gotten in touch with by CNN, Downing Street did not reject the reporting. It referred CNN to a continuous query by senior civil servant Sue Gray into such events.

“There is an ongoing investigation to establish the facts around the nature of gatherings, including attendance, setting and the purpose with reference to adherence to the guidance at the time. The findings will be made public in due course,” a Downing Street representative stated Friday.

‘I am genuinely sorry’

The news comes as the previous director general of the UK federal government Covid-19 taskforce Kate Josephs excused holding workplace leaving beverages on December 17 2020, while the UK remained in lockdown.

“I gathered with colleagues that were at work that day, with drinks, in our office in the Cabinet Office, to mark my leaving the Civil Service,” Josephs stated Friday in a declaration published on her Twitter profile.

Josephs, who is now President of Sheffield City board, included: “I am truly sorry I did this and for the anger that people will feel as a result. Sheffield has suffered greatly during this pandemic, and I apologise unreservedly.”

In her declaration, Josephs likewise stated that “the specific facts of this event will be considered in the context of the Cabinet Office investigation. I did not attend any events at 10 Downing St.”

The UK federal government assistance at the time stated: “Although there are exemptions for work purposes, you must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in your tier.”

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen ended up being the most recent political leader to require Johnson’s resignation on Saturday. He informed British broadcaster Sky News that the PM’s position was now “untenable” which Johnson needs to “call it a day for the good of the country.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.