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

A former No 10 supply, who labored on the UK Prime Minister’s official residence all by 2020, confirmed to CNN that such gatherings commonly occurred. The supply stated different individuals referred to them as “wine-time Fridays,” however the supply didn’t personally attend the occasions.

Revelations of quite a few events at Downing Street — together with one on the evening earlier than Prince Philip’s funeral final April — have brought on a serious political scandal for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and prompted questions on how lengthy he can survive as chief of the governing Conservative social gathering.

When contacted by CNN, Downing Street didn’t deny the reporting. It referred CNN to an ongoing inquiry by senior civil servant Sue Gray into such gatherings.

“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 spokesperson stated Friday.

‘I’m really sorry’

The information comes as the previous director normal of the UK authorities Covid-19 taskforce Kate Josephs apologized for holding workplace leaving drinks on December 17 2020, whereas the UK was 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 an announcement posted on her Twitter profile.

Josephs, who’s now Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, added: “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 assertion, Josephs additionally 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 authorities steering on 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 turned the most recent politician to demand Johnson’s resignation on Saturday. He informed British broadcaster Sky News that the PM’s place was now “untenable” and that Johnson ought to “call it a day for the good of the country.”

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