After a ‘busy day’ in lockdown, it is ‘uncharitable’ to criticise the PM and his wife for enjoying wine with their employees

After a ‘busy day’ in lockdown, it is ‘uncharitable’ to criticise the PM and his wife for enjoying wine with their employees

People criticising Boris Johnson and Carrie for eating cheese and wine with Whitehall colleagues after a "busy day" while the country was under lockdown last year are being "uncharitable".

Dominic Raab defended an image shared with the Guardian of the PM and his wife, who looks to be carrying their newborn baby, at a table with a cheeseboard and wine.

In the snapshot taken on Friday, May 15, 2020, small groups of people are seen talking and drinking in the garden.

Despite the fine weather, then health minister Matt Hancock had advised people to “stay at home as much as possible” earlier that day.

Mr Raab said the PM did not break his own Covid laws and that all employees followed them on the day in issue.

He insisted it was a "The Downing Street garden "was utilised to do business during the pandemic…

“Those meetings were in the garden, and there was sometimes drink.”
When asked if the prime minister's wife was routinely present at work meetings, Mr Raab answered, "No, not in my experience."

It was a hectic day, after a busy week - they had a No 10 news conference, meetings all day, and Carrie dropped in to check on the prime minister.

“I believe it's unfair to assume that a wife wouldn't do it in those circumstances and under those pressures,” she said.
The prime minister works “quite in the conditions that the prime minister does and he's in the uncommon position of working in the same place as he lives”, Mr Raab added.

"Have you ever had cheese and wine at No 10?" questioned Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen.

“Not that I recall,” Mr Raab said.

According to the Guardian and Independent, the PM spent around 15 minutes at the event and gave one staffer a drink for “fighting” the coronavirus.
After a Covid briefing, they allege roughly 20 personnel drank wine and ate pizza. Some were in the workplace, some in the yard, and some drank late into the night.

The PM said Mr Johnson returned to his flat around 7 p.m. after a work meeting on May 15.

“During the summer months, Downing Street personnel often utilise the garden for occasional meetings,” stated the PM's spokesperson.

"On May 15, 2020, the PM met with the then health and care secretary and his colleagues in the garden after a press conference.

“The PM went home just after 7 p.m. During the afternoon and evening, a few essential workers remained in the Downing Street garden.