Matt Hancock was at the Downing Street Garden on the night of the Number 10 cheese and wine gathering, but he cannot say whether he is shown in a leaked photo that shows aides conversing.  

Downing Street asserted that May 2020’s gathering in the garden was work-related so no coronavirus rules had been violated. 

Boris Johnson was pictured with Carrie, his then-fiancee. In the background were aides standing next to one another at a table. 

The Telegraph reported that Hancock was one of those in the photograph, but an ex-Minister for Cabinet said the image wasn’t clear.

According to Mr Hancock’s spokesperson, it is unclear who is shown in the photograph. However, there are no indications that Mr Hancock committed any wrongdoings. 

“He came to Downing Street that day for the Press Conference. Matt arrived on Downing St around 4:43pm. The press conference was held from about 5:03 to 5:53pm. It focused on the lifting of lockdown measures. 

“After the press conference Matt went back to his team to brief them, and then went back to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister. At 6:32pm, he left Downing Street and returned to the Department for Health and Social Care.

Last week, the Official Spokesman for the Prime Minister stated that the PM met briefly with his former health secretary and team at the garden after a press conference.  

The leaked photo of the garden gathering showed Mr Johnson, Mrs Johnson and 17 other staff members in the garden on May 15, 2020, with bottles of wine and a cheeseboard on a table in front of the PM. 

The Telegraph reported that Dominic Cummings (the former chief advisor to Johnson) was among the people in the photograph. 

At the May 15, 2013 press conference, Hancock told Britons that they could now meet in public outdoors one another person outside their household. Please keep your distance to two metres.

“I hope that people will enjoy the weekend thanks to the weather and the new rules. However, please be respectful of the rules. Keep your family safe and take no chances. 

Downing Street refused to reveal the identities of those present during the gathering. 

It comes amid a hunt for the Whitehall insider with an ‘animus’ against Mr Johnson suspected of leaking the picture.

Dominic Raab stated yesterday that the photo was clearly made public by someone who wanted to “damage” the Government.

The photo of the garden hosting wine and cheese during the first national lockdown was probably taken from a veranda on No 11 Downing Street at the back. This is where the offices of Chancellor Johnston are.

Matt Hancock was in the Downing Street garden on the evening of the Number 10 'cheese and wine' gathering but is unable to say if he is pictured in a leaked photograph which showed aides chatting

Matt Hancock, who was at the Downing Street Garden on the night of the Number 10-‘cheese-and wine’ gathering, is not able to confirm if he’s in a photo that shows aides talking.

Boris Johnson, his staff and wine at Downing Street Garden in May 2020 during the first national lockdown

The hunt is on for the so-called 'snappy rat'. The Treasury angrily denied it was responsible, with a source saying: 'It was not anyone in the No 11 team. That room is accessible to anyone working in Downing Street'

Now, the hunt continues for the so-called “snappy rats”. It was angrily denied by the Treasury, with a source saying that it wasn’t anyone from the No 11 team. Anyone working at Downing Street can access that room.

One person has claimed to be in the No10 gardens.

BORIS JOHNSON, Prime Minister


Carrie Johnson was the fiancee of Mr Johnson at the time and was holding Wilf. 

MATT HANCOCK is Health Secretary?

Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock

Hancock, who was Health Secretary at that time in photo captioned: “People are now able to spend time outside and exercise as many times as they want. And you can even meet another person from the community outdoors. Please keep your distance to two metres.

Dominic Cummings, Chief Advisor to the PM?

Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings

A controversial 16-month stint in Downing Street, before quitting last December following a power struggle against Carrie Johnson. 

MARTIN REYNOLDS – PM’s Principal Private Secretary?

Martin Reynolds

Martin Reynolds

Reynolds, who has been working in government over 10 years, is now the PM’s PPS after having served in the Foreign Office for the past four years. 

JAMES SLACK, Official Spokesperson for the Prime Minister?

James Slack

James Slack

From the beginning of 2018, Mr. Slack became the PM’s Director, Communications. He had been Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson for nearly four years. Office.

JESS SELDON – Chief Press Officer of the Foreign Affairs Department at PM

IMRAN SHAFI is the PM’s private secretary

According to a No 10, source, Rishi Sunak used the office and anyone else entering would have been seen.

However, the Treasury furiously denied that they were responsible. One source stated: ‘It was not anybody in the No11 team. This room can be accessed by anyone who works in Downing Street.

Now, the search is on for “snappy-rat”. It is an acronym that refers to the “chatty rat” scandal in which plans were leaked for a second nationwide lockdown.

Following a speech by Johnson praising Peppapig World, another ‘chattypig’ was charged with briefing Johnson.

It was claimed that the attendees were members of Johnson’s high-ranking team, including Mr Hancock or Mr Cummings. 

When the photo was taken the restrictions were still in effect. Mr Hancock, then-health secretary at the time, stated earlier in the day that people can exercise outdoors as often as they want and can also meet other people in public places.

“But please keep 2 metres apart.” 

According to some reports, there were also Prime Minister’s guests. Martin Reynolds is his principal private secretary, Imran Shafi his private secretary, James Slack his official spokesperson, and Jess Seldon his former Chief Press Officer for Foreign Affairs.

Campaigners claimed that in spite of a string of allegations about Whitehall and Downing Street during lockdown parties, the latest photograph shows the Prime Minister having ‘presided over an culture of believing the rules only applied to other people’ since the beginning of the pandemic.

The event was held on Friday, May 15, 2021, at a time when socializing outside was restricted to one person only, who were socially separated.

Many thousands could not be there to see their loved ones dying in hospitals or care homes.

Johnson said that he was defending the meeting last night. He stated: “This is my home, this is my work. These were work meetings, people talking about work.”

According to sources the image was taken probably from one the state rooms where the special advisers and civil service personnel of the Chancellor were located. Ed Balls (former shadow chancellor) claimed the photo was taken from the 11 Downing Street balcony on first floor.

When asked by BBC Radio 4’s Today program whether Mr Raab believed that’someone’ or a group was “dripping out leaks to bring Boris Johnson to the ground”, he replied, “It’s certain being done with animus” to damage government.

The Deputy Prime Minister stated that it was not a party as the participants were dressed in business suits.

Times Radio reported that Downing Street had used the garden for work. It was used for meetings at work.

The photo was taken on a date when I believe the Prime Minister just held a press conference.

Sometimes they will have a drink after an exhausting day. This is not against regulations.

The Guardian took the photograph of Johnson, Carrie Johnson (then his fiancee), and 17 other staff members. They were seated in the garden with wine bottles and cheese boards, right in front of Prime Minister.

Raab stated that it was not only a work place for the employees at No 10, the Prime Minister, and all their families but also the home of the Prime Minster and his young family. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Sterner said yesterday that he did not believe that it was a work meeting.

“I believe there are some very serious questions that need to be answered. But just take a look at this photo and consider: Is it a work meeting or a social gathering? It is quite obvious.

Jo Goodman co-founded Covid-19 Bereaved families for Justice. [the Prime Minister]Since the beginning of the pandemic, he presided over an attitude that believed the rules only applied to others.

Twitter users juxtaposed the photo and their own stories of separation from loved ones.

One woman shared a photo of her son looking at his grandmother from a window. Another told about how her mother banned her from sitting in the garden with her shortly before her death.

According to reports, the gathering was just one of several that occurred across Whitehall in spite coronavirus restrictions.

Sue Gray, a senior civil servant, is currently investigating the reports about the parties.


The room is losing its mind! He’s lost the room! Darts fans sing unison “Stand up, if you hate Boris” at the World Championships. Football fans continue to chant obscenities about Boris as the fallout continues from the No10 Christmas party rows 

Boris Johnson is being criticized by sports fans all over the country. They are using hostile songs and chants to express their disapproval.

On Monday night, fans could be heard unison singing “Stand up if You Hate Boris” at the 2022 World Darts Championship in packed Alexandra Palace.

One fan was seen holding a sign that read “all around to Boris’s After” referring to the ongoing Christmas party row.

Meanwhile, at the Premier League clash between Leeds United and Arsenal on Saturday, the stands were full of fans singing ‘Boris Johnson is a c**t’ repeatedly in videos shared across social media. 

The videoThis video shows Leeds fans cheering and singing the explicit lyrics during Saturday’s defeat by Arsenal, 4-1.

Fans at the World Darts Championship held in London on Monday night could be heard singing 'Stan up if you hate Boris' in unison days after football fans were heard chanting expletives

After football fans singing expletives, the World Darts Championship was attended by London’s crowd.

Fans could be heard chanting the anti-Boris song at Alexandra Palace on Monday (pictured)

On Monday, Alexandra Palace was filled with anti-Boris chanting (pictured).

Anti-Boris sentiments arose amid mounting pressure from the Prime Minister due to a number of recent scandals.

A leaked picture shows Carrie, the Prime Minister’s wife, at a table with 2 people and 13 others. The photo was taken on Friday May 15, 2020.

Only two individuals were permitted to meet outside, while the rest of society was socially distant.

Downing Street did not apologize for the incident, but instead insisted it was not an event of the social kind. Staff were also working in the gardens in the afternoons and evenings.

The pictured persons include some of Johnson’s most important team members, such as Martin Reynolds (principal private secretary), Matt Hancock (ex-health secretary), and Dominic Cummings.

The latest incident in the ‘partygate” row is about celebrations at No 10; Downing Street has been accused of having held four parties which broke Covid regulations last year.

After it became clear that Mr Johnson knew of the quiz and was present at, he ordered a civil service inquiry.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Cameron was hit with another blow after Lord Frost quit his position as Brexit Minister. This was in response to the fact that he had been slamming Covid curbs on high taxes.

Downing Street has now been accused of holding five parties over lockdown, including a quiz attended by dozens of staff and which the Prime Minister helped to host on December 15 – three days before another Christmas party which is being investigated.

Previous to the lockdowns No10 insisted that Downing Street was ‘often required’ to be present in the office during pandemic responses. Therefore, ‘those in the office for work might have been able to attend virtually from their desks.

The Mirror reported that a message from No10’s Head of HR advised those who remained behind to participate in the quiz to ‘go out of the back’ after they had left.

Johnson stated that an inquiry would be conducted to examine the claims. Following revelations that Simon Case was involved in a quiz held at his department, the Cabinet Secretary resigned.

MailOnline knows that one event took place on December 17. Last year. A mail titled Christmas Quiz was sent to about 15 people at Mr Case’s Private Office.

Whitehall heavyweight Sue Gray was installed at his request to conduct inquiries into the three gatherings that took place at Downing Street in November last year and at the Department for Education, December last. These were during prohibition of indoor mixing.

According to the terms of Mr Case’s then-current investigation, it was possible for it to be extended to cover any pertinent allegations.

It was the scandal that led to the Tories’ devastating loss at the North Shropshire By-Electoral Election last Thursday. 

Today’s Uxbridge visit saw Mr Johnson speak to reporters. He stated that people are more interested than ever in issues such as coronavirus and said the media reports on lockdown-busting parties were what had led to the Tories losing the North Shropshire election.

According to him, broadcasters have heard a lot of nonsense about politicians and politics that doesn’t concern them.  

The Conservatives suffered a humiliating defeat in the North Shropshire by-election caused by the resignation of Owen Paterson amid the lobbying scandal and were beaten by the Lib Dems

Conservatives lost a shocking defeat in North Shropshire By-election because Owen Paterson resigned amid the lobbying scandal. The Lib Dems defeated them 

The Lib Dems won by almost 6,000 votes with a 34 point swing. This wiped Owen Paterson’s 23,000 lead at the 2019 elections.

The stunning turnaround came despite the Tories fielding a candidate, Neil Shastri-Hurst, with good credentials who was regarded as having performed respectably. 

Meanwhile, Helen Morgan, a fervent Remainer was elected by the Lib Dems to contest a seat which voted in 2016 for Brexit.

Although the cause for the by-election wasn’t ideal, it was triggered after Owen Paterson resigned following Boris Johnson’s unsuccessful attempt to spare him from being punished for his lobbying.

Earlier this month, the Conservatives were fined £17,800 over a controversial donation which helped cover the lavish refurbishments to the Prime Minister’s Downing Street flat.  

One Twitter user shared how she was banned from sitting with her mother in her garden shortly before she died in May 2020

One user on Twitter shared the story of how she was forbidden from sitting next to her mother in her yard shortly before her May 2020 death.

In reaction to the photo leak another person shared a photo of her son seeing his grandmother through a window last May

In reaction to the photo leak another person shared a photo of her son seeing his grandmother through a window last May

Boris, this is My May 2020: Furious Brits send images to their beloved ones who couldn’t be there. The photos were taken simultaneously with a Downing Street party that PM hosted.

By Jamie Phillipsand Rachael Bunyanand Katie Westonand Rory Tingle, Home Affairs Correspondentand Jack Maidment, Deputy Political Editor For Mailonline  

Today’s angry Britons were furious at the inability to see their loved ones from care home windows, while Boris Johnson and his staff enjoyed wine and cheese in Downing Street gardens.  

Public anger was rekindled by the image, which prompted them to tell of the hardships they had made in order to comply with lockdown restrictions that were placed on the same date. 

Stephen Laughton stated that he was unable to see his mom’s dying body because it was “against all the rules”. Laughton said that the photo on the left was the last one he had of his mother alive as May 2020. She was a single person with severe illness and faced the pandemic through stoicism.

We went on a hike around her neighborhood park. She suggested that we sit 2m apart in the garden. I told her: No, that’s not allowed.

A gastroenterologist Dr Ajay verma recalled sitting in silence on a hospital ward for a minute in honor of the victims.

He said: ‘On Friday 15th May 2020 at 1pm we held a minute’s silence on our ward (and throughout our hospital) in memory of those who died from Covid – little did we know that the PM & friends were enjoying a garden party that same afternoon.’

The image sparked fresh anger among the public, who have now told of the sacrifices they were making to abide by lockdown restrictions on the same date

Public anger has been rekindled by the image, which has led to people telling of the hardships they made in order to comply with lockdown restrictions.

Dr Ajay Verma, a gastroenterologist, recalled holding a minute's silence in a hospital ward in memory of those who had lost their lives in the pandemic

A gastroenterologist Dr Ajay verma recalled sitting in silence on a hospital ward for a minute in honor of the victims of the pandemic.

An NHS worker shared this image of the marks left by PPE on her face while working in a hospital during the same month the gathering took place

A worker for the NHS shared the following image, showing the PPE marks she saw on her face as she worked in the hospital that month. 

Hundreds took to Twitter to share their anger about the photo, including SNP MP John Nicolson

Hundreds took to Twitter to share their anger about the photo, including SNP MP John Nicolson

Police officers in a patrol car move sunbathers on in Greenwich Park, London, using a megaphone. This image was taken on May 15 - the same day as the gathering

Officers from the police force in a car patrol Greenwich Park using a megaphone to communicate with sunbathers. This photo was taken May 15, the day before the event. 

Two body boarders being stopped by police before entering the water in Wales on May 9

Police stop two bodyboarders before they enter the waters in Wales, May 9, 2009.

Today, hundreds took to social media today to vent their outrage at the latest breach of Covid protocol by No10 staffers.  

An expert in the treatment of lung cancer said, “This is me in May 2020. I’m exhausted emotionally and physically.” 

Is the Downing Street lockdown party ‘party’ photo taken from No. 11’s balcony? The Claims photo was taken outside of rooms that Treasury employees use – Raab claims it was taken by someone who had ‘an animus against PM’ 

MailOnline by Rory Tingle and James Gant 

It was today claimed that a photograph showing Boris Johnson and his wife, as well as his assistants, at the Lockdown-busting Downing Street event last summer, was taken in a Rishi Sunak room.

According to sources, the photo of the party was probably taken near the state room used by the Chancellor or his staff.

Ed Balls, a former shadow chancellor, claimed that the photo was taken from “the first floor balcony of 11 Downing Street”, which is believed to have been outside Mr Sunak’s office.

It comes as names for some of those at the event – where guests drank wine and dined out on a cheeseboard – were put forward.

The revellers apparently included some of Mr Johnson’s top team – such as his principal private secretary, his private secretary and his political secretary.

After last night’s photo of the party during the national lockdown, Dominic Raab stood by the government this morning.

The Deputy Prime Minster and Justice Secretary highlighted the importance of the garden as a place for work, and that staff could sometimes have a drink after long days or long weeks.

According to the Guardian, the photo showed Johnson and his then-fiancee Carrie in the garden with bottles of wine, a cheeseboard, and the PM.

The PM and his wife – apparently holding their newborn baby Wilf – were seen sitting at a table with two people, while another four were pictured with bottles of alcohol at a nearby table and the rest on the lawn.

Two people could socialise outdoors at that time, Friday 15th May 2020. That angered both anti-lockdown political figures and Britons suffering under strict restrictions.  

Today’s insiders claimed that the photo was actually taken in one of Mr Sunak’s rooms.

MailOnline received a reply from one of the witnesses that the photograph was taken near the state rooms in which the Chancellor, and his entourage were engaged for ceremonial duties.

Ed Balls (ex-shadow chancellor of exchequer, economic secretary for the Treasury) tweeted that he is ‘pretty certain’ the photo was taken from No. 1st floor balcony.

“I can’t express how much I am moved by Boris’s cheese- and wine-party that took place simultaneously. What is it that takes to drive the Tories away?

The mother shared another picture in which her son had to talk to his grandmother via a window due to restricted access. This was just one day prior to the Downing Street photo.

She stated, “May the 14th 2020. While my Son was accustomed to seeing her nanny from a window, before that he had been able to see her daily for cuddles. My heart broke. Heart is angry now.

Also, pictures showed officers driving through Greenwich Park in South London with a megaphone in order to reach small groups enjoying picnics under the sun in May 9.

Photographs of officers stopping body boarders entering the sea were taken on the exact same day Downing Street staff enjoyed wine and cheese.

The tube station at Westminster was also empty on May 15, as most commuters work from home. 

Five days prior to the photo, on May 10, the Prime Minister addressed the nation via Downing Street. He praised all those who had “shown the good faith to support these rules overwhelming”

He described also the “tragic” death tolls and the “immense suffering” the country had to deal with.

An anti-lockdown demonstration was held in London’s Hyde Park the day following the garden meeting.

Piers Corbyn, one of the 19 protesters arrested, was joined by hundreds holding banners and placards with slogans such “freedom over fear”

Dozens upon dozens of officers were on horseback patrolling the demonstration and issued fines to 10 more people for failing to comply with lockdown restrictions.

Laurence Taylor, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner said that protestors had ‘clearly violated the guidelines and put themselves and others in danger of infection.  

The Government had imposed some restrictions that would require them to be away from their family for more than one year.

A Twitter user shared a photo of himself in all their personal protective gear, recalling the time they had to stay in the garage in order to not put their loved ones at risk for contracting Covid.

They said: ‘This was me in May 2020, in the endless cycle of door-car-work-car-door, ‘don’t touch daddy ’till I changed and showered’.’

“After possible contamination, I slept in the garage to protect my family. Over a year later I would learn the Tories were laughing at us all…#cheeseandwine’

Mai 2020 saw the peak of virtual quizzes. Friends and families were forced to interact over Zoom because of restrictions that prevented the mixing of household members. 

Labour Councillor for Bilborough (Nottingham), tweeted a photo of her enjoying a drink with friends from home after a hard day.

She added, “Picture May 2020. For those who remembered the rules, this is how socializing after a hard day was like last May. 

“We had all been locked down for many days, not just the key workers, but we were allowed cheese and wine to be served for 17.

Laura Smith shared the picture of her son meeting his grandfather after months of lockdown. She said that the two sat just metres apart, and they didn’t embrace.

Kevin Pryce, in the same way, shared a photo of him visiting his father through a Care Home window. It describes how lucky his relative was to live in a ground-floor room.

A second Twitter user posted a photo of a locked play area on her estate. Children were unable to access basic equipment such as slides and swings during lockdown. 

Today, Dominic Raab said the photo did not show a social occasion but people ‘having a drink after a busy set of work meetings’ – adding that the fact attendees were ‘all in suits, or predominately in formal attire’ backed this up. 

In one interview, he incorrectly claimed that the PM had hosted a press conference that day, when in fact it was Health Secretary Matt Hancock. 

Times Radio reported that Downing Street had used the garden for work. The garden was also used by Downing Street for their work meetings. This photo was taken on a day that the Prime Minister just held a press conference. Sometimes they will have a beer after a hard day, or even a week. This is not against regulations. 


Twitter users have shared pictures comparing what they were doing on the same day as an apparent social gathering at Downing Street

Tweeters shared photos comparing their activities on the exact same day as an apparent Downing Street social gathering.

In an interview today, Dominic Raab incorrectly claimed that the PM had hosted a press conference on May 15 - the day of the gathering - when in fact it was held by Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured at the event)

Dominic Raab claimed today that the PM hosted a press conference May 15, which was the date of the gathering. However, it was actually held by Matt Hancock, Health Secretary (pictured at event). 

The number of confirmed cases of Omicron in England increased by 69 per cent on the previous day's total - up 9,427 to 23,168, figures from the UKHSA showed today

According to figures released by the UKHSA, Omicron cases in England rose 69% over the previous day. They went up from 9,427 to 23,168.