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Having a drink after work during lockdown not against rules, says Raab

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Having a drink “after a long day or long week” was not against the lockdown regulations in England, Dominic Raab has said.

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The Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary made the comment when asked about a photo showing the Prime Minister, his wife and staff in the garden of No 10 during the first national lockdown.

The photo, obtained by the Guardian, showed Mr Johnson, his then-fiancee Carrie, 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 Prime Minister.

Mr Raab told Times Radio: “Downing Street used that garden as a place of work. They used it for work meetings. The photo is from a day when, I think, the Prime Minister had just done a press conference.

“And sometimes they’ll have a drink after a long day or a long week. And that’s not against the regulations.”

On Mr Johnson’s then-fiancee Carrie being there, Mr Raab said: “It is not just a place of work for all the staff that work in Number 10 and the Prime Minister, but it is also the the residence of the Prime Minister and his very young family.

“I genuinely don’t think it gets classified as a party because Carrie popped down and spent a little bit of time there with her husband.”

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