Health Secretary Sajid Javid has denied reports that Boris Johnson and his Downing Street staff broke Covid rules by attending two parties in Number 10 in the run-up to last Christmas.
The Daily Mirror said the Prime Minister gave a speech at a packed leaving do for a senior aide last November when the country was in the midst of the second lockdown.
The newspaper said members of his No 10 team then held their own festive party days before Christmas, while London was under Tier 3 restrictions.
In each case, the paper reported, there were 40 or 50 people crammed “cheek by jowl” into a medium sized room.
Asked about the reports during a round of broadcast interviews, Mr Javid insisted the coronavirus restrictions would have been adhered to in No 10.
“Whatever happened in No 10 throughout the pandemic, I am absolutely certain all the rules around the pandemic would have been followed,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“Obviously I can’t tell you what’s going on on a daily basis in any building, but what I can tell you is if it’s Government, especially No 10, all the rules would have been followed at all times.”
Pressed on the Mirror report, he said: “You’re assuming that the news report you’re referring to is accurate. I’m sure you would have come across inaccurate news reports in the past.
“All I can tell you is whatever happened in No 10, all rules would have been followed at all times.”
In response to the report, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: “Covid rules have been followed at all times.”