LONDON — Photographs that appear to show British Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinking at a potentially rule-breaking party have been released by ITV News.
The broadcaster claims the photos were taken on November 13, 2020, when restrictions on social gatherings were in place in England. They were reportedly taken to a going away party for Johnson communications director Lee Cain.
As the Partygate scandal enveloped the top of the UK government, Johnson previously claimed he was unaware there had been rule-breaking parties in Downing Street during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the British Prime Minister has since been fined by the Metropolitan Police for breaking coronavirus rules.
The four images released on Monday show Johnson raising a glass and standing near eight other people. The other people have been pixelated. There are bottles of alcohol and food on the table in front of him. The prime minister’s red box – a suitcase that traditionally contains ministerial papers – sits on a chair in the same room.
The event took place as England was in the throes of a second national lockdown.
Johnson was not fined for breaking lockdown rules that day. He has only received one fixed fine notice – he paid the fine after attending a birthday party thrown for him in June 2020, alongside Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The Metropolitan Police said last week they had completed their investigation into parties breaking the rules, paving the way for a Partygate report by senior civil servant Sue Gray to be released in the coming days.
Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he knew nothing about the breaking of the law – there is no doubt now, he lied. Boris Johnson has made the rules, then broke them.