Politics

Give Boris a break! PM defended after Downing Street garden picture emerges

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Journalist Richard Eden jumped to the defence of the Prime Minister on Twitter after images emerged of Mr Johnson, along with his wife Carrie Johnson, sitting outside with colleagues. In the photo, which was reportedly taken in May 2020, as many as 17 people are seen conversing outside in the garden.

But Mr Eden has jumped to defend the Prime Minister as he faces the fresh thunder following the release of these pictures by the Guardian.

The Daily Mail editor tweeted: “Give the man a break: can’t he even have a glass of wine in the garden now?”

However, some Twitter users disagreed with the comment.

Phil Bird said sarcastically: “Told to stay at home.

“At the time social mixing between households was limited to two people, who could only meet outdoors and at a distance of at least 2 metres.

“Yep, give him a break.”

Michelle tweeted: “It was my birthday that day and I couldn’t share it with my family, didn’t I deserve a break?”

@the_sneakster_ tweeted: “I spent 18 months working from home, where I live on my own.

“Spent months in the NW under local restrictions not seeing any friends or family with no outlet, which so nearly sank me forever.

“No, he can’t sit in the garden quaffing wine with pals.”

A spokesman for number 10 insisted the gathering was entirely within the rules.

They said: “On May 15, 2020, the Prime Minister held a series of meetings throughout the afternoon, including briefly with the then health and care secretary and his team in the garden following a press conference.

“The Prime Minister went to his residence shortly after 7pm.

“A small number of staff required to be in work remained in the Downing Street garden for part of the afternoon and evening.”

But on Sunday, a spokesman from number 10 emphasised the gathering was a “work meeting” – meaning if this was to be true, then it would be within the rules.

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The spokesperson said: “Work meetings often take place in the Downing Street garden in the summer months.”

They added: “Downing Street is the Prime Minister’s home as well as his workplace.

“The Prime Minister’s wife lives in Number 10 and therefore also legitimately uses the garden.”

Matt Hancock, 43, gave a press conference on May 15, 2020, before these photos were reportedly taken in the Downing Street garden.

Mr Hancock said: “People can now spend time outdoors and exercise as often as you like and you can meet one other person from outside your household in an outdoor, public place.

“But please keep two metres apart.

“This weekend, with the good weather and the new rules, I hope people can enjoy being outside but please stick with the rules, keep an eye on your family and don’t take risks.”

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