At the time of the alleged Downing Street gathering, tens of millions of people across Britain were banned from meeting close family and friends, including bidding farewell to dying relatives.
The government’s own Twitter account said last year: “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.”
More than 1.1 million pounds ($ 1.45 million) in fines have been imposed on people in London who have broken Covid rules, according to an analysis by The Evening Standard newspaper, including 2,000 convictions in a single London court.
To date, nearly 146,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the U.K.
Stratton resigned and apologized for appearing to make light of the pandemic on Wednesday in a tearful speech outside her home in London
Downing Street did not respond to a request for comment on the video. Johnson has called for an investigation into the mock-up news conference — but he still insists that no such party happened.
The video plus recent sleaze allegations are putting pressure on Johnson just when his government needs to maintain authority to deal with with growing cases of the new Covid-19 variant.
On Wednesday night, Johnson announced tougher Covid restrictions in England, telling people to work from home where possible, wear masks in public and use vaccine passes to slow the spread of the omicron variant.
The prime minister said there were 568 omicron cases in the U.K., a figure that’s doubling every two to three days. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that omicron cases were most likely closer to 10,000 and could reach 1 million by the end of the month.