Here’s what it looked like when the UK went under lockdown for No 10’s ‘garden gathering,’

Here’s what it looked like when the UK went under lockdown for No 10’s ‘garden gathering,’

Images captured around the UK at the same time show Boris Johnson, his Downing Street workers and their wine and cheese in the No 10 garden.

The snapshot, taken on May 15, 2020, shows the prime minister, Carrie Symonds, who looks to be cradling their newborn baby, and up to 17 workers in the Downing Street garden.

There is wine and cheese on the table and little social distance between Downing Street personnel.

During the first coronavirus lockdown, No. 10's personnel were photographed in the garden talking about work, they said Monday.

In contrast, images from around the country show a very different scene.

They show empty railway stations and cops advising people to keep their distance in parks and on beaches while asking how far they've travelled.

That week's public messaging advised people to keep a safe distance from others and questioned their outside visits.

Large gatherings were dispersed by police, but not in the Downing Street garden, where nine workers sat around a table.

On May 15, England forbade large outdoor meetings of more than two persons, albeit this did not apply to private gardens. Later in the pandemic, private gardens were also outlawed.

Two days before, a rule change enabled individuals to meet one another outside at a distance of at least 2m.

Key staffers were not allowed in the office.

Whenever feasible, workers were urged to maintain 2m apart.

“People can now spend time outdoors and exercise as often as they like – and meet one other person from outside your family in an open, public place,” said then-health secretary Matt Hancock the day before the shot was taken. But two metres apart.”

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) provided data on the day the Downing Street photo was taken, stating that up until May 11, 2020, 13,445 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) had been issued in England for public health violations. 799 FPNs were issued in Wales.

They were implemented on March 27, 2020 to allow authorities to punish violators of coronavirus limitations.

On Monday, Downing Street said personnel dining and drinking wine in the garden last May were discussing work.

A spokeswoman for the PM said: “These were folks in Downing Street — officials, employees – meeting after the most recent press conference that day.

“Meetings were held both inside and outside No 10.

This shows coworkers meeting after a press conference to discuss work.”

“Downing Street is also a private residence for both the prime minister and chancellor,” the spokesman stated.

“The PM's wife has access to her garden. It's her garden.”

While the snapshot appears to show numerous people in sweaters, shirts or polo shirts, and one individual wearing white trainers, deputy prime minister and justice secretary Dominic Raab tried to defend the gathering.

Raab appeared to contradict himself when he told Times Radio that personnel were unwinding with a drink “after a long day or a long week”.

According to human rights lawyer Adam Wagner, everyone not in their own garden at the time was breaching the law.

Following the government's recent change of terminology, Wagner tweeted: “I'm no longer confident that this would fit into outside the home for ‘the requirement… to work'. The law applies to everyone outside their own backyard.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the gathering raised “serious questions”.

“Everyone has looked at that photograph and to imply that that is a professional meeting is a bit of a stretch,” he told Sky News. But look at the snapshot and ask yourself: is that a work meeting or a social event? I think the solution is clear.”

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