Barclay: Downing Street Leaving Drinks Happened Because Staff Worked “Closely Together” mdi-fullscreen

Steve Barclay was the minister unlucky enough to be up on the media round the morning after Sue Gray Day, and it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk. Appearing on the Today Programme, Barclay repeatedly dodged the question of whether it was right for Boris to attend No.10 leaving dos in lockdown, with Nick Robinson grilling him over Boris’s claim in the House yesterday that it was an “essential duty of [his] leadership“. Not something leaders of schools or hospitals could get away with…

“I think as most people recognise, the pressures, the tight-knit groups… there was a huge amount of activity going on… it was his belief that within the context of the work exception, people within the very specialised nature of Downing Street, working long hours together…”

So tight-knit they were sat on each others’ laps…

Asked by LBC how the PM hadn’t noticed his own son’s swing being broken by drunken revellers, he said “That’s a really good question”, saying Boris was often at Chequers.

Of course it’s true that No.10 staff were already working long hours closely together, yet the rules were the rules. Barclay went on to say the staff believed they were complying with those rules. Not quite what Martin Reynolds said…

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