PM's wife regrets 'lapse of judgement' after partying with pals during lockdown

15 January 2022, 23:23 | Updated: 16 January 2022, 10:04

Carries Johnson has apologised for a 'momentary lapse in judgment' after breaching social distancing guidelines
Carries Johnson has apologised for a 'momentary lapse in judgment' after breaching social distancing guidelines. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

The Prime Minister's wife Carrie Johnson has said she "regrets" her "lapse in judgement" after pictures emerged of her breaching lockdown guidance at a West End club.

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In a picture obtained by The Telegraph, she can be seen hugging friend Anna Pinder, outside at a private members' club in London's in September 2020.

The snap was taken when Government guidance stated members of the public should stay two metres apart from those in other households or one metre with extra precautions in place, such as wearing masks.

Restrictions in place at the time also banned people from meeting in groups of more than six except for education, work, weddings and funerals with the PM himself stating "you should keep your distance from anyone you don't live with".

A spokesman for Mrs Johnson said on Saturday: "Mrs Johnson was one of a group of six seated outside celebrating a friend’s engagement. Mrs Johnson regrets the momentary lapse in judgment in briefly hugging her friend for a photograph."

It is the latest Conservative Covid breach to be revealed, as the Boris Johnson faces calls to resign amid a string of No 10 lockdown breaching parties, held during 2020.

Read more: When were they not partying? No10 accused of holding 'wine-time Fridays' throughout Covid

Read more: Boris 'launches Operation Save Big Dog and will scrap Plan B' as he bids to stay in No10

Earlier this week the PM was forced to apologising to the Queen after it emerged a No10 do was held on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral, which took place under Covid measures.

Mr Johnson also had to say sorry to MPs in the House of Commons after admitting he attended a drinks do in the Downing Street garden - though he insisted he believed it was a work event.

Reports say a Government plan is gearing up to save Mr Johnson's job, with the Independent claiming it is being referred to as "Operation Save Big Dog".

Read more: No10 says sorry to the Queen after lockdown-breaking party night before Philip's funeral

The plan will work out who should lose their jobs after Sue Gray's investigation into Government staff parties during Covid restrictions is completed.

It will also emphasise what Mr Johnson has achieved in his time as PM, the Independent said.

Supportive ministers will be lined up to carry out interviews backing Mr Johnson, it is claimed and should come as Plan B is rolled back.

It comes after deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner, reportedly wrote a letter to Cabinet Secretay, Simon Case, demanding "urgent" answers in response to claims No 10 staff were asked to delete evidence of illegal Downing Street parties.

According to The Independent, staff were told to "clean up" their phones of anything that could be deemed as evidence of a party.

The letter formally asks Mr Case whether both the Cabinet Office and Downing Street had referred themselves to the Information Comissioner’s Office.

Ms Rayner wrote: "The British Civil Service is known around the world for upholding the highest standards and, as you are of course aware, the Civil Service Code is designed to ensure that officials can conduct their work without fear or favour.

"I am concerned that in order to move on from this raft of scandals that junior staff may lose their jobs in order to protect politicians or their appointees."

Read more: Who is Sue Gray, the woman in charge of No 10 Christmas parties probe

Sir Keir, who this week called on Mr Johnson to resign – and was joined in doing so by a handful of Conservative backbenchers and several Scottish Tories – said on Saturday: "Rather than concentrating on getting through the pandemic and bringing down waiting lists, this self-indulgent Tory party is instead having a fight about a leader who they should have known from the start is not fit for office."

He added: "Boris Johnson is too preoccupied defending his rule-breaking and as day follows night when it comes to the National Health Service you can never trust the Tories."

"We are witnessing the broken spectacle of a Prime Minister mired in deceit and deception, unable to lead."