'No rules were broken': Raab defends No 10 'cheese and wine' garden gathering

20 December 2021, 08:23 | Updated: 20 December 2021, 08:31

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Deputy Prime Minister has defended a photo of Boris Johnson and his staff with cheese and wine in the Downing Street garden during lockdown last year.

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.

Read more: Fresh pressure on Johnson as PM pictured at Downing St garden 'gathering during lockdown'

LBC's Nick Ferrari asked Mr Raab if he believed the image showed a work meeting.

"The reality is Number 10 is a place of work, including the garden," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Explaining the scene Mr Raab said the image was taken after the Prime Minister's Covid press conference and having "something to drink" in the garden was "consistent with the rules."

When Nick challenged the Deputy Prime Minister over the presence of Boris Johnson's wife and child, Mr Raab said the PM lives and works in Downing Street.

"Mr Raab, you and I have known each other for some time, are you honestly saying you believe this was a business meeting?" Nick Ferrari asked.

Replying, the Deputy Prime Minister said the Number 10 garden is "used for work meetings."

"It's like freshers week in Number 10, isn't it? There's a party every other day," Nick shot back with.

But, Mr Raab denied this and claimed it showed "people after a series of work meetings having something to drink which was consistent with the rules at the time."

Watch the whole exchange in the video at the top of the page.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

'I don't like Clive!' Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I don't like Clive!': Nick Ferrari disgusted by work drinks bullying compo

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts experience with 'micromanaging' boss

'I started worrying about my job': Caller recounts working with 'micromanaging' boss

Dominic Raab said it would be Sue Gray's "prerogative" to "name and shame" politicians who were issued with fines

'Boris didn't get away with Partygate': Raab says it's up to Sue Gray to name and shame

Kit Malthouse said "we believe the law should be blind"

Minister slaps down police chief who said shoplifters stealing to eat should be spared

Caller hosting Ukrainian refugees admits she regrets it

Caller regrets hosting Ukrainian refugees as it has cost 'hundreds of pounds'

Liz Truss explained plans to alter parts of the Northern Ireland protocol

'We don’t want to scrap NI protocol, just the bits that don’t work': Truss tells LBC

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of senior officials soars by 125%

NHS sees bureaucratic 'explosion' as number of managers soars by 125%

Tony Danker said potentially two million Brits are skipping meals

'Do something to help,' CBI chief tells Sunak as millions of Brits forced to skip meals

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on the contest

Brexit isn't being 'held against' UK in Eurovision, says world's first lecturer on contest

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Daniel Barnett reacts to 'bizarre' tribunal ruling that calling man bald is sex harassment

Rees-Mogg said Khan is not providing "value" for Londoners

'Hunky dory for him, tough on tax payers': Mogg hits out at Khan's US trip

Nick Ferrari reflects on his trip on the PM's plane

LBC Views: Boris got a warm welcome in Finland, but would it be the same in Finchley?

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

Lisa Nandy: Tory MP's 'Brits can't cook' comment shows govt's 'living on another planet'

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson

This was the Eurovision question from Nick Ferrari that stumped Boris Johnson

Exclusive
Boris Johnson has refused to say what would happen if Sir Keir Starmer quit in an interview with LBC's Nick Ferrari

PM refuses four times to answer whether he'd quit if Keir resigns

The Minister for Prisons has said she will do "everything in her power" to stop serial killer Levi Bellfield from marrying a prison pen pal

Prison Minister says 'evil monster' Levi Bellfield should be stopped from marrying in jail