Police get complaints over U.K. leader’s festive parties

Dec 4, 2021, 11:03 AM | Updated: 11:12 am
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks past a Christmas tree whilst leaving 10 Downing Street t...

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks past a Christmas tree whilst leaving 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s opposition Labour Party has raised complaints to police about Christmas parties held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s staff in his office last year in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

The reports surfaced as many in the U.K. and elsewhere are increasingly concerned about festive parties and socializing over Christmas this year amid the spread of the new omicron variant.

Labour lawmakers wrote to London’s Metropolitan Police asking them to investigate reports that two parties were held at No. 10 Downing Street in the run-up to last Christmas at a time when people were banned from socializing indoors with anyone not in their household.

The police force said Saturday that it was aware of “widespread reporting” of “alleged breaches of health protection regulations” at a government building last November and December. It said although it did not routinely investigate “retrospective” breaches of COVID-19 regulations, it was considering the complaints.

The Daily Mirror reported on Tuesday that Johnson’s team held a festive party ahead of last Christmas, while London was under strict COVID-19 restrictions. It also reported that Johnson gave a speech at a packed going-away party for a senior aide last November, when the country was under lockdown.

The paper said each party had 40 or 50 people crammed into the room.

“If these events did take place, it implies that there is one rule for the government and another for everyone else,” Labour lawmaker Barry Gardiner said.

Johnson has not denied the events took place but said no rules were broken, although he did not elaborate when pressed.

Britain’s government this week reintroduced mandatory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport, after scrapping almost all coronavirus restrictions and social distancing rules in the summer.

Some scientists — including Jenny Harries, head of the U.K. Health Security Agency — have warned that people should not socialize over the upcoming holidays unless necessary. But Johnson has maintained that the government will not change its guidance about “how people should be living their lives,” and said people should not cancel events like parties and school nativity plays.

___

Follow all AP stories about the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson switches on the Downing Street Christmas tree lights in London, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks past a Christmas tree whilst leaving 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

AP

Associated Press

Biogen, Wayfair rise; CrowdStrike, NetApp fall

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Wednesday: Intuit Inc., up $27.88 to $407.59. The maker of TurboTax, QuickBooks and other accounting software beat analysts’ fiscal first-quarter revenue and earnings. Biogen Inc., up $13.76 to $305.17. Investors received an encouraging update on a potential Alzheimer’s drug being developed by […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Wednesday 11/30/2022

Stocks rallied on Wall Street after the head of the Federal Reserve said the central bank could soon ease up on its aggressive pace of interest rate hikes aimed at taming inflation. While citing some signs that inflation is cooling, Fed Chair Jerome Powell stressed Wednesday that the Fed will push rates higher than previously […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Ohio court rejects city cable fees for streaming services

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The streaming services Netflix and Hulu are not video service providers that would have to pay local governments in Ohio the same fees levied on cable operators, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a case similar to lawsuits filed by hundreds of other municipalities nationally. At issue in Ohio is […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Brandon Calloway, second from left, speaks with a reporter alongside his family about his vi...
Associated Press

Tennessee officers won’t face charges for violent arrest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A grand jury has declined to indict police officers after an investigation by Tennessee’s police agency into the violent arrest of a Black man for alleged traffic violations, a district attorney said Wednesday. Members of a grand jury in Fayette County reviewed evidence Monday related to the July arrest of Brandon […]
15 hours ago
FILE - A law enforcement officer walks outside of 1201 San Jacinto in Houston, following a shooting...
Associated Press

Man seen at Takeoff’s fatal shooting facing weapons charge

HOUSTON (AP) — A man who has been accused of illegally having a gun at the time that rapper Takeoff was fatally shot last month following a private party at a downtown Houston bowling alley has been charged in connection with the case, authorities said Wednesday. But during a court hearing, prosecutors said the suspect, […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke is shown before an NFL football game between the Arizona...
Associated Press

Deal finalized to divide Rams settlement money in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A plan to divide more than a half-billion dollars in settlement money for the departure of the NFL’s Rams from St. Louis received final approval Wednesday. The board of the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Authority, which owns the domed stadium where the Rams played before leaving for Los Angeles […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Police get complaints over U.K. leader’s festive parties