Hove MP slams PM on virtual Christmas quiz photo Brighton News

A SHADOW Cabinet Secretary slammed the Prime Minister after a photo of him emerged appearing to take a virtual quiz.

The image, reported by the Sunday Mirror, shows a screen with Boris Johnson sitting in front of a laptop in Downing Street Number 10 Library, flanked by colleagues.

One of his colleagues is draped in garlands.

Hove MP and Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland Peter Kyle asked if anyone had worked in Downing Street last December, “or was it a big knee up?”

He said: “In all of Churchill’s paintings and photos during the war, I don’t remember any of him taking a quiz.”

The festive event was said to have taken place just three days before an alleged rule-breaking Christmas party at Number 10, which is currently under investigation by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.

Downing Street said the leader of the Conservative Party had “briefly” participated “virtually” in the quiz.

Mr Kyle’s comments come as Labor leader Keir Starmer has claimed the PM “looked like” he broke coronavirus rules when he took the quiz with staff.

Speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Starmer said it was “very difficult” to see how the virtual quiz “conforms to the rules”.

However, Mr Starmer drew criticism from Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas for failing to call for the Prime Minister’s resignation.

On Twitter, she said: “Thank you, Keir Starmer wants to appear as a statesman, too bad he doesn’t join the others in calling on the Prime Minister to step down.

“It has never been clearer that Boris Johnson is utterly unfit to be Prime Minister – a threat to public health and a serial liar, destroying democracy and degrading public life.”

Official guidelines at the time read: “Although there are exemptions for work purposes, you should not have a lunch or Christmas party at work, as it is a primarily social activity and no is not otherwise permitted by the rules of your level. ”

At the time of the quiz, London was at level 2, which said there should be no mix of households inside, except for support bubbles, and a maximum of six people outside.

The Sunday Mirror cited a source who claimed that many staff were crowded in front of computers, asking questions and drinking alcohol during the quiz.

He reported that Mr Johnson surprised staff by appearing onscreen as a quiz master for a round lasting between 10 and 15 minutes.

A spokeswoman for No 10 said: “It was a virtual quiz.

“Downing Street staff often had to be in the office to work on the pandemic response, so those who were in the office for work could attend it virtually from their desks.

“The Prime Minister briefly took part in a virtual quiz to thank the staff for their hard work throughout the year.”

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This notice was published: 2021-12-12 12:05:00

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