Britain’s lockdown summed up in two pictures


As the Queen prepared to bury her 73-year-old husband in April 2021, two different parties took place at Number 10 on the eve of his funeral while the rest of the country was in lockdown.

Images of the Queen sitting alone at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral have gone viral. But it has now been revealed in a Telegraph exclusive that government officials were partying the night before, showing a clear difference in compliance with lockdown rules.

Political Correspondent for the Telegraph Tony Diver has exclusively revealed that two parties took place at Number 10 on April 16, 2021 – the day before Prince Philip’s funeral.

In a Twitter thread, Diver revealed allegations of a going away party held for a number 10 photographer.

Diver claimed: “Staff partied in the basement of No10, to music DJd by a special adviser. One of them broke Wilf Johnson’s swing in garden number 10. Another was sent to the cooperative with a suitcase to buy alcohol.

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A second going away party was said to have taken place on the same evening for James Slack, Boris Johnson’s communications director.

There, Diver alleges: “Staff gathered for a Slack speech, with others connecting via Zoom. Alcohol is drunk and the participants spill out into the garden. Talk and drink until dawn.

By the time the parties would have taken place, indoor gatherings in Britain were banned. Outside, the rule of six applied.

Only thirty people were allowed to attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral and the Queen sat alone during the service.

(Jonathan Brady/PA/Eyevine/The Guardian)

Allegations of two more lockdown-breaking parties being held at Number 10 come as Johnson faces criticism for attending another held in the gardens of the government building.

In May 2020, Johnson and his staff were photographed in the gardens drinking and eating wine and cheese.

At the time, outdoor gatherings of more than two people were prohibited, a distance of two meters had to be respected and schools remained closed.

Johnson was called to resign for attending the party when it emerged an email had been sent telling people to bring their own alcohol.

Johnson maintains he thought it was a business event, but admitted to attending the rally.

Number 10 has since apologized to Buckingham Palace for two parties held “in a time of national mourning” following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Downing Street had issued an apology to the Palace following the reports.

The spokesperson said: “It is deeply regrettable that this has happened at a time of national mourning and No 10 has apologized to the Palace.

“You heard from the Prime Minister this week, he acknowledged that No 10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for the things we have not done well.”

Asked why No 10 had apologized rather than Boris Johnson himself, the spokesperson said: ‘Well, again the Prime Minister has said that earlier errors of judgment had been committed and that it was right for people to apologize, as the Prime Minister did earlier this week.

“Still, I cannot prejudge the investigation, which you know is ongoing, which has been led by Sue Gray, but we recognize the significant public anger, it is unfortunate that this has taken place. in times of national mourning.

Additional AP reports.

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