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

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

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A former No 10 source, who worked at the British Prime Minister’s official residence throughout 2020, confirmed to CNN that such gatherings take place on a regular basis. The source said other people call them “wine hour Fridays”, but the source did not personally attend the events.

Revelations of numerous Downing Street parties – including one the day before Prince Philip’s funeral last April – have caused a major political scandal for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and raised questions about how long he will survive as party leader conservative in power. .

Contacted by CNN, Downing Street did not deny the report. He referred CNN to an ongoing investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into such gatherings.

“An investigation is underway to establish the facts regarding the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, setting and purpose in reference to compliance with guidelines at the time. Findings will be made public in due course,” a statement said. Downing Street spokesperson. Friday.

‘I am really sorry’

The news comes as the former chief executive of the British government Covid-19 The Kate Josephs task force has apologized for taking office leaving drinks on December 17, 2020, while the UK was on lockdown.

“I gathered with colleagues who were at work that day, with drinks, in our office in the Cabinet Office, to mark my departure from public service,” Josephs said on Friday in a statement posted to his Twitter profile. .

Josephs, who is now Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, added: “I’m so sorry I did this and for the anger people will feel as a result. Sheffield has suffered a lot during this pandemic, and I apologize. without reservation.”

In his statement, Josephs also said that “the specific facts of this event will be considered in the context of the Cabinet Office investigation. I did not attend any event at 10 Downing St.”

UK Government guidance at the time stated: “While there are exemptions for work purposes, you should not host a Christmas lunch or party at work, where it is a predominantly social activity and which is not otherwise allowed by the rules of your level.”

On Saturday, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen became the latest politician to demand Johnson’s resignation. He told UK broadcaster Sky News that the Prime Minister’s position was now “untenable” and that Johnson should “stop him for the good of the country”.

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

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