Met to re-examine No10 Xmas quiz after photo of Boris near open bottle of bubbly emerges

9 February 2022, 13:57 | Updated: 9 February 2022, 18:46

By Sophie Barnett

Scotland Yard has said it is reviewing its assessment that a Christmas quiz in No10 in 2020 did not meet the threshold for criminal investigation, after a picture surfaced of Boris Johnson near a bottle of wine.

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The event, which allegedly took place on December 15 during strict Tier 2 restrictions, is not one of those being investigated by the Metropolitan Police after officers were passed evidence from the Sue Gray inquiry.

However, the Met has since confirmed that it is reviewing its assessment of the event, following the emergence of an image of Mr Johnson surrounded by alcohol, crisps and people wearing tinsel at an event at a Downing Street Christmas quiz.

The force said in a statement: "The MPS previously assessed this event and determined that on the basis of the evidence available at that time, it did not meet the threshold for criminal investigation. That assessment is now being reviewed."

Mr Johnson was earlier forced to defend the party at Downing Street after the photo emerged of him at the "virtual quiz".

Tier 2 regulations in place at the time banned any social mixing between two or more people from different households.

Labour MP Fabian Hamilton highlighted the photo in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

"In the last few minutes a photo has emerged of the prime minister in Downing Street on the 15th of December 2020, surrounded by alcohol, food and people wearing tinsel," the MP for Leeds North East said.

"It looks a lot like one of the Christmas parties that he told us never happened.

"Will the prime minister be referring this party to the police as it's not one of the ones already being investigated?"

Mr Johnson replied: "In what he has just said, I'm afraid he is completely in error."

Challenged again during PMQs, Mr Johnson added: "That event already has been submitted for investigation."

The prime minister told MPs that as soon as all the inquiries are concluded he will immediately publish in full "whatever Sue Gray gives me", when asked to clarify what will happen following the Met's investigation.

Conservative Mark Harper said: "I'm only asking this question because I asked the prime minister last week and I didn't get a straight answer.

"It's important because it's about those who make the law obeying the law.

"The prime minister wants to be judged on the facts and that's right. So can I ask him to commit at the despatch box that upon conclusion of the Metropolitan Police investigation, will he ensure that Sue Gray's final report is published immediately and in full?"

Mr Johnson replied: "With great respect to (him), I do believe I answered that... but I'll repeat, for the benefit of the House, that as soon as all the inquiries are concluded I will immediately publish in full whatever Sue Gray gives me."

Dominic Cummings, the prime minister's former chief aide, tweeted shortly after PMQs that there are "waaaaay better pics than that floating around, incl in the flat".