Last year was miserable for millions of Britons. They were banned from socializing and prevented from visiting their dying family members.

However, the government has caused mass outrage after videos were released of Government officials laughing about a lockdown-busting party. They insist that it never occurred just days before Christmas Day.

The video features Boris Johnson’s former press Secretary Allegra Stratton, who is seen laughing and giggling as she was asked questions on the subject at a mock conference in December 2012.

This footage was shot four days following the alleged “boozy” party. It was also recorded during strict Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions in London, which prohibited mixing indoors with other people.

Gavin Williamson was accused in the Department for Education of hosting a Christmas party for “up to two dozen” people, which was against the Covid-19 social distancing rules.

MailOnline examines what happened to which parties and the changes in the rules for London during that time.



Dr David Weir, a respiratory consultant at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, died from Covid-19 on December 3

David Weir was a East Lancashire Hospitals Trust respiratory consultant who died on December 3, from Covid-19.

After the second national lockdown on October 14, London became Tier 2 restricted. After the first national lockdown on November 5, London was able to enter Tier 2 restrictions.

Tier 2 meant that the region was at ‘high alert’ for coronavirus. With the Government stating it found a higher, rapidly rising’ level of infections in the area, it means additional restrictions must be placed. 

The law prohibited indoor socializing between household members. Individuals were prohibited from socializing with people they do not know or are not part of their support group in indoor settings, either at home or public.

However, people could still see their loved ones outside of the home in gardens and public places. The limitation was that you could not socialise in a group of more than six outside, which was called the ‘rule of six’. 

A person could not go into a pub without their household members. The venues couldn’t serve alcohol with any’substantial food’. While people could enjoy a drink outside the pub without being part of any other household within the “rule of six”, the alcohol rules are still in effect. These rules allowed restaurants to open. 

Some confusion arose over what constitutes a substantial meal. Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary suggested that Cornish pasties only would fall under the guidelines if served with chips or a salad. The accepted standard was to have a full meal.

Customers enjoy drinks outside a restaurant in London on December 2 last year as the capital entered Tier 2 restrictions

Drinks were enjoyed outside of a London restaurant on December 2, 2013, when the capital was subject to Tier 2 restrictions



Gavin Williamson was charged with holding Christmas parties for up to twenty-six people at his Department for Education offices, in violation of Covid-19 social ditancing rules.

According to reports, the former education secretary hosted a party on December 10, last year and gave a brief speech. This event took place during London’s Tier 2 status, which prohibited indoor social mixing among households.

Amid claims in the Daily Mirror that the event featured drinks and canapés, the Government said the gathering involved staff who were ‘already present at the office and who had worked together throughout the pandemic’.

According to one source, Mr Williamson spoke at the event. Ministers then mingled and consumed wine. It was described as “reckless” by one source, while the DfE admitted it took place.

Officials claimed that this gathering was intended to give thanks to the personnel for their work during the pandemic. However, they acknowledge it’d have been more beneficial not to do so at the time.

According to a source, there were many people in the café area drinking wine and mingling. One source said that he hosted a drink party for people who were looking to spend Christmas with their family.

MailOnline was told by a DfE spokesperson that a meeting of coworkers took place on December 10, 2020 in London’s DfE building. This occurred at a time in London when Tier 2 restrictions were in effect.

The gathering was intended to show appreciation for those working during the pandemic. All those present brought drinks and snacks. No outsiders or support staff were allowed to attend. Although this event was for work, we regret that it took place at this time. 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson was the former education secretary and is shown outside Downing Street, November 25, this year.



London was moved to Tier 3 in December 16. This is a level that indicates an area with very high, or rapidly increasing levels of infection. Tighter controls are required.

Tier 3 was at that time the highest of three levels in the system. However, a Tier 4 was created just days later. Tier 3 prohibited people from seeing friends or family in the indoors.  

Socializing in outdoor spaces is limited to groups of six or less. This includes parks, beaches and countryside that are open to the public.

Except for takeout, all restaurants and pubs were required to close. However, indoor attractions and entertainment venues were required to close.

Londoners browse Old Spitalfields Market in London on December 17, the day after the capital entered Tier 3 restrictions

Londoners visit Old Spitalfields Market on December 17th, the day London entered Tier 3 restrictions


Hospital porter Andrew Woolhouse, 55, from Cardiff died of Covid-19 on January 23 this year, having tested positive on December 17 four days after receiving his first vaccine

Andrew Woolhouse (55), a hospital porter from Cardiff, died on January 23, 2018. He had tested positive for Covid-19 four days before he received his first vaccination.


Boris Johnson is said to have hosted a lockdown busting party on Downing Street in December 18. This was when it was illegal for people of different backgrounds from London to mix indoorally. 

Although they have been under considerable pressure from the Daily Mirror, ministers still do not know how the bash managed to comply with current rules.

Two events occurred in No 10, according to the newspaper. One was Mr Johnson’s speech at the leaving party during November’s lockdown.

Another was the employee party that took place on December 18, where there were party games and refreshments, as well as revelries that went on beyond midnight.

At the time, the Tier 3 rules explicitly banned work Christmas lunches and parties where it is ‘a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted’ – and many families were even barred from visiting dying loved ones.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Openreach Training Centre in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on December 18 last year

Boris Johnson visited the Openreach Training Centre at Bolton in Greater Manchester last December 18.



Boris Johnson, a dramatizing press conference held on December 19. It placed London in a new Tier 4 status and effectively cancelled the Christmas plans that millions of people had made to create “Christmas bubbles”.

London and the rest of south England, which were part of Tier 3, would be moved to Tier 4. This was an order to’stay at-home’ and required that non-essential shops, salons and indoor entertainment venues close.

Although people living outside Tier 4 were not allowed to create Christmas bubbles from different households, they could still do so for one day rather than the whole period of December 23-27 as was originally planned.

Johnson stated that Christmas cannot be continued as planned at a sad press conference held in Downing Street, watched by thousands of unhappy Britons.

According to the Prime Minister, he was certain that there would be no other option. He also stated: “I am aware of how emotional people place at this time of year and how crucial it is for grandparents see their grandchildren.” However, if the virus uses a different method to attack us, then we need to change our defenses.

Boris Johnson cancels Christmas for millions of people during a Downing Street press conference on December 19 last year

Boris Johnson cancelled Christmas for millions during the Downing Street press conference held on December 19, last year



Tier 4 was a restriction on people living in different homes from mixing, except for support bbles or two people who meet outdoors. Only essential retail stores could be closed, while all other non-essential shops had to be kept open.

After Boris Johnson had announced the changes with only a few hours notice, many Britons were forced to hurry to get Christmas gifts for their loved ones.

Tier 4 prohibited people from sleeping away from their homes for more than 24 hours. Weddings could only be continued in exceptional circumstances and were limited to up to six guests.

An almost empty Oxford Street on December 20 after London moved into Tier 4 hours after the PM's announcement

A nearly empty Oxford Street after London moved into Tier 4, just hours after the announcement of the PM, December 20, was almost empty



Yesterday night, a clip was released in which Allegra Stratton, the former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, laughs and jokes about Downing Street parties during mock media conferences. Officials at No10 insist that this never took place.

The footage, which was leaked to ITV News, was filmed last December 22 – four days after the alleged ‘boozy’ party and when London was under strict Tier 3 coronavirus curbs.

The damning clip shows Miss Stratton, who is still on the No 10 payroll earning £125,000 a year, and aides joking about cheese and wine and suggesting the ‘fictional’ event was ‘not socially distanced’.

Miss Stratton was practicing for TV Media Briefings. These were later cancelled. At the time of the alleged event, on December 18, Christmas parties were outlawed – on pain of £10,000 fines.   

Today’s video has been criticized fiercely by the Government. Rachel Clarke (NHS palliative medicine doctor) was among those angered. Twitter user She wrote: “At precisely the same time they laughed and joked, I was treating the symptoms of Covid-dead patients in hospital.” This video, and this government are both more ignorant than they seem. 

Separately, a video emerged of No 10 officials joking about another lockdown-busting party. It shows Boris Johnson’s former press secretary Allegra Stratton giggling and laughing as she is asked about the event during a mock media conference

Unrelatedly, an audio clip was made of the No 10 officials laughing at another lockdown-busting party. The video shows Boris Johnson’s ex-press secretary Allegra Stanton laughing and giggling as she answers questions about the incident during mock media conferences 



The third legal national lockdown in England came into effect on January 6, with the retrospective vote of MPs. These measures include a nationwide stay-at home order, and school closings for most students.

On March 8, schools were reopened after a phased outage from the lockdown. Outside gatherings were permitted for up to six individuals from separate households starting on March 29. A larger group of two or more people was also allowed.

On April 12, outdoor attractions and hospitality were reopened in outdoor locations. Then, on May 17, indoor socialising, hospitality, and indoor attractions became permissible again.  

The majority of legal restrictions came to an end on July 19. They removed social divorcing and social contact limitations, allowing businesses such as nightclubs open again. The move was delayed since June 21. 

People walk past an information sign notifying people about the national lockdown in Staines-upon-Thames on January 6

A sign informing people of the Staines-upon-Thames national lockdown on January 6 is visible as pedestrians pass by