“the only reason I am able to announce that we are finally able to begin getting schools back, to begin getting retail back from the June 1, is because this country has observed the social distancing rules.”

Boris Johnson, Daily coronavirus press briefing

May 25, 2020

Facts

Boris Johnson urged the public to follow the rules at a daily coronavirus press briefing. But this was just five 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 had himself breached these social distancing rules in Downing Street less than one week earlier. 

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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