A man was fined £100 for standing in the street the same day Downing Street staff allegedly held a lockdown-breaking garden party.
Nuradeem Mohammed, 28, was stopped by police in Ealing Road, London, in the early hours of 20 May 2020 and accused of being in a gathering of more than two people “without reasonable excuse”, the Evening Standard reports.
The UK was at that time two months into its first national lockdown and Covid rules meant people were only allowed to meet one other person from outside their household in an outdoor public place while keeping a distance of at least two metres.
Mohammed, of Hayes, west London, was convicted of breaching the Health Protection regulations and ordered to pay a £100 fine plus £134 in court costs and fees within a month, according to court documents seen by the Standard.
It has now emerged that later the same day, Number 10 staff, including the prime minister himself, attended a gathering in the rose garden of Downing Street despite the strict lockdown restrictions.
According to a leaked email, Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds invited more than 100 members of staff to the “bring your own booze” event.
Boris Johnson on Wednesday finally admitted he had attended the gathering – but insisted he thought it was a “work event”.
After days of stonewalling questions, the prime minister told MPs he acknowledged the “rage” of the public “with me and with the government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules”.
“And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility,” he said at prime minister’s questions.
The gathering would have taken place just five days after another party, at which the prime minister and his wife Carrie Johnson were pictured having cheese and wine with officials in the garden.
The Metropolitan Police said it was “in contact” with the Cabinet Office relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations in No 10 on 20 May 2020.
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