The Met Police are currently prosecuting an alleged illegal gathering on December 18th last year – the same day Downing Street staffers reportedly celebrated when London was under Tier 3 Covid restrictions.
Restrictions in place at the time mandated the closure of pubs and restaurants except for takeaways, banned indoor social gatherings and limited outdoor socialising to no more than six people.
But reports in The Mirror suggest between “40 to 50 people” people were crammed “cheek by jowl” into a room in Number 10 for an event that has been described as a “Covid nightmare” by one source.
Yesterday justice secretary Dominic Raab moved to bat away any suggestion of police intervention, saying it would be “unusual for the police to investigate crimes that happened last year.”
The Metropolitan Police have said that while it did not routinely investigate “retrospective” breaches of the Covid regulations, it will consider new correspondence from Labour MPs that Boris Johnson and his No 10 staff held Christmas parties in breach of Covid regulations.
Labour backbenchers Neil Coyle and Barry Gardiner have each written to Scotland Yard asking police to investigate reports that two parties were held in the run-up to last Christmas at a time when such gatherings were banned.
Meanwhile, according to the Evening Standard’s Tristan Kirk, the Met is prosecuting an alleged illegal gathering on December 18 last year – in a house in Ilford.
Indeed, there are 14 prosecutions in London for alleged breaches in Dec last year.
Kirk said: “Perhaps government ministers could say what the point of these prosecutions is, given there’s no deterrent effect on the public and they are a drain on police and court resources.”