“If you want to meet someone from outside your household, it’s got to be you and that other person, just as a pair”

Boris Johnson, Coronavirus Press Briefing

May 23, 2020

Facts

When asked about the rules for meeting people outdoors by a member of the public at a coronavirus press briefing, Johnson said: “If you want to meet someone from outside your household, it’s got to be you and that other person, just as a pair.”

This was just three days after Downing Street staff gathered in the Number 10 garden for a drinks party, to "make the most of the lovely weather". An email seen by ITV News showed Mr Johnson's Principal Private Secretary Martin Reynolds telling over 100 Number 10 employees to "bring your own booze". Around 40 staff, including Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson, gathered in the garden eating picnic food and drinking alcohol.

The email invitation from Mr Reynolds said: "Hi all, After what has been an incredibly busy period it would be nice to make the most of the lovely weather and have some socially distanced drinks in the No10 garden this evening. Please join us from 6pm and bring your own booze!"

Verdict

Johnson was reiterating clear and unambiguous rules that he himself ignored on multiple occasions throughout lockdown. 

We approached Mr Johnson’s office, the Cabinet Office and the No 10 Press Office to give them a chance to comment, but no reply.

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