The significance of the “new” partygate photo and why the Met are now looking at it.

Why wasn’t this spotted before? – Owl

The new photograph shows the prime minister with three members of staff around a table with what appears to be an open bottle of champagne and crisps. One staff member has a garland of tinsel round his neck, while another is sporting a red and white Santa hat. Source .

Downing Street previously said the quiz, held on 15 December 2020, took place virtually but with some members of staff taking part in the office.

It took place during a period when indoor social mixing was banned in London, which was under tier two Covid restrictions.

Official guidance also stated: “You must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in your tier.”

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi previously suggested no rules were broken because “no alcohol” was consumed.

“He’s on a virtual call, no alcohol, thanking his staff for 10 minutes before he goes back to work, is that really a terrible crime?” the minister asked in a TV interview last December.

And the prime minister himself said at the time: “I can tell you once again that I certainly broke no rules.” [Owl’s emphasis]