BoJo Accused of ‘Not Self-Isolating’ After Being ‘Face to Face’ With COVID-19 Positive Aide
Boris Johnson has been mired in a series of scandals, with the Prime Minister fending off a barrage of criticism over Tory “sleaze” allegations and claims of illicit lockdown-breaching Christmas parties held at No 10 last year during strict COVID-19 restrictions, and the loss of a North Shropshire seat to the Liberal Democrats in a by-election.
Boris Johnson has been accused of failing to self-isolate last January after coming into close contact with an aide who had tested positive for COVID-19, reported the Mirror.
As the UK Prime Minister recorded his official New Year message on 31 December 2020, the Downing Street videographer, who stood “close” to him for around 15 minutes and was not wearing a face mask, according to sources, later tested positive for the coronavirus.
Some cited sources claim the individual in question was standing within just two metres of Johnson during the recording.
In accordance with official guidance at the time, anyone who came within two metres of somebody who had tested positive for the coronavirus for more than 15 minutes was required to self-isolate. Thus, all Downing Street officials present in the room had been told to spend 10 days at home. The PM reportedly did not observe these guidelines.
In alignment with the report, it is claimed that photos on the Downing Street Flickr account, taken by the videographer, suggest distance rules had been breached.
Five days later, on 4 January 2021, Boris Johnson announced that the UK would be entering its third national lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic.
10 December 2021, 17:32 GMT
In response to the report, a Downing Street spokesman said that the aforementioned recording incident had not breached social distancing rules.
“The Prime Minister was socially distanced from the individual who subsequently tested positive and the duration of the filming was shorter than 15 minutes. This has been reaffirmed by those present. He was not advised to isolate as the rules did not require him to do so.”
It was added that the PM had self-isolated on a number of previous occasions “as per the regulations.”
The fresh report follows a barrage of allegations that have targeted the Prime Minister, with his popularity ratings taking a hit and rumours circulating of a possible Tory leadership challenge.
17 December 2021, 13:33 GMT
Accusations of multiple lockdown-breaching Christmas parties held at Downing Street in 2020 have followed Tory sleaze allegations and resulted in a painful loss of a previously secure North Shropshire seat to the Liberal Democrats in a by-election on 16 December. Coupled with the unpalatable “Plan B” COVID-19 restrictions, which sparked a rebellion among Tory backbenchers in December and passed through the House of Commons relying on Labour support, Boris Johnson seemed off to a shaky start in 2022.