This week’s big question: how to answer those “questionnaires” “truthfully”

Owl gives a few helpful suggestions:

The good old standby: “It was not a party but a work related gathering”

“It is my judgement that all the rules were followed, and I make the rules”

“These rules weren’t rules but only guidance, and a statement that: ‘all guidance was followed completely in No 10’; has been made in the House and elsewhere”. (See full list below)

“I was just passing the open door and popped my head in for a moment”

“I was in my garden relaxing when it was gatecrashed by a rowdy group”

“I don’t run No 10, so not my job to say: ‘drink up and go home immediately, this is against the rules’”

“I believed implicitly that this was a work event, but with hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside.” 

“An Englishman’s home is his Barnard Castle”

“Hard to tell where the office ends and my flat begins”

“It was just a child minding group in the flat”

“This is an opportunity for the Met to apply its discretion, wasn’t the whole country relieved when Dominic walked out?”

“Like fraud, it’s not really a crime”

Always worthwhile consulting Nadine Dorries, but whatever you do, don’t consult card carrying members of the “Law and Order” party, they are increasingly unhappy.

Seven occasions when Boris Johnson denied No 10 broke Covid rules

 Here are the moments Johnson denied rules were broken.

1 December – House of Commons

After the Mirror’s first story broke about Christmas parties in Downing Street:

“What I can tell the right hon and learned gentleman is that all guidance was followed completely in No 10.”

2 December – Sky News

Asked why he would not explain his account of the allegations, Johnson said:

“Because I have told you and what I want to repeat … that the guidance is there and I am very, very keen that people understand this.”

7 December – BBC News

When asked about Downing Street Parties in December, the prime minister said:

“All the guidelines were observed.”

8 December – House of Commons

After the Allegra Stratton video is released by ITV News:

“I apologise for the impression that has been given that staff in Downing Street take this less than seriously. I am sickened myself and furious about that, but I repeat what I have said to him: I have been repeatedly assured that the rules were not broken. I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken.”

8 December – Downing Street press conference

Asked why he had not extended the No10 inquiry:

“ … all the evidence I can see, people in this building have stayed within the rules … if that turns out not to be the case … and people wish to bring allegations to my attention or to the police … then of course there will be proper sanctions …”

Johnson giving a Downing Street press conference

13 December – Sky News

Asked again about Downing Street parties:

“I can tell you once again that I certainly broke no rules … all that is being looked into.”

20 December – BBC News

After the Guardian reveals pictures of people, including the prime minister, at No 10 drinks in the garden on 15 May 2020

“Those were people at work, talking about work. I have said what I have to say about that.”