There’s more to the Christmas party confusion than what should go on under the mistletoe

When a cabinet minister suggests we get together but avoid a yuletide snog, puzzlement is the only rational response, writes Andrew Woodcock. But that’s not what lies at the root of the confusion

Thursday 02 December 2021 21:30
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<p>Boris Johnson hosts an event to light up the Downing Street Christmas tree on Wednesday </p>

Boris Johnson hosts an event to light up the Downing Street Christmas tree on Wednesday

Social etiquette at Christmas parties is one of the many subjects which Boris Johnson probably never expected to have to adjudicate on when he became prime minister.

And yet as the festive season approaches in tandem with the new omicron coronavirus variant, Downing Street has found itself having to fan down a wave of panic over what we will and won’t be allowed to do when the party hats come out.

Confusion has been sparked by a breakdown in message discipline by advisers and ministers, who seem to feel that the jollity of the subject matter licenses them to opine in public on whether office colleagues should be indulging in a (soon to be regretted) sozzled boogie on the dance floor and what exactly should go on under the mistletoe.

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