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Current Affairs

Christmas party scandal in UK

Date: 21 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


The Cabinet Secretary of UK has refused to continue the probing of the “Christmas Party scandal” or the “partygate” probe.



The alleged “Christmas Party” took place when the whole country was under strict lockdown. It was held in the Cabinet Secretary’s own office.



  • The investigation was focused to find out if three Christmas parties broke Covid-19 protocols in place at the time.

  • The parties took place in Downing Street on November 27, December 15 and December 18 and one at the education department that took place on December 10 in 2020.

  • During the period of concern, London was then under Tier 3 restrictions. This meant that parties and social events were banned.


Tier 3 restrictions

  • During tier 3 restrictions, no mixing of households indoors was allowed. A very high alert was maintained during the time.

  • During these restrictions, a maximum of six people could meet in some outdoor public spaces such as parks and public gardens. Only take-away were allowed for restaurants.

  • Wedding receptions were not permitted and only 30 people were allowed for funerals. Only 15 guests were allowed for weddings and civil gatherings.


Start of controversy

  • The controversy started when senior officials were captured on a video joking about breaking lockdown rules to attend a Christmas party.

  • Citizens and opposition criticized the government for flouting Covid-19 protocols. The government’s inability to straightaway deny claims forced an investigation.


Social distancing controversies

  • Candidate for mayoral Polls, Shaun Bailey resigned as the chair of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee for a crowded gathering.

  • Health secretary Matt Hancock had to resign following a photograph that showed him in an embrace with his colleague Gina Coladangelo.

  • Johnson himself has been at the centre of controversy when he hosted a quiz at 10 Downing Street in apparent breach of lockdown rules.