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As they consider — apparently on an hour-by-hour basis — the prospect of a post–Christmas circuit breaker, more pictures have emerged of Boris Johnson and Downing Street staff appearing to break lockdown rules.
The latest — an image of people enjoying wine and cheese in the Number 10 garden, may look innocuous. Outdoor gatherings are far less likely to lead to transmission than those indoors.
Yet this picture was taken in May 2020, at a time when members of the public were restricted to social mixing between households of just two people, outdoors and at a distance of at least two metres.
It will be perceived as another example of how there seems to be one rule for us, and another — or perhaps none at all — for those at the top. Images like these matter because hypocrisy from on high during a public crisis can move the needle.
The Prime Minister must have the country trust him, and believe that what is good for them is also good for the nation. His behaviour matters and it should be above reproach.
Ministers have an exceptionally difficult decision to make on whether to introduce any new restrictions, given the impact they can have on our freedoms, economy and mental health.
They should be based on the science and driven by data. And they stand a great chance of success if the public believe we are all in this together.
Well done, Emma
Congratulations to Bromley’s finest, Emma Raducanu, on being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Her achievement, winning the US Open, as a qualifier, without dropping a set, at the age of 18, becomes more – not less – remarkable with time.
She celebrated in the most 2021 of ways – in isolation, having picked up Covid. But she raised the spirits of a nation during her remarkable run, both in New York and at Wimbledon, is a deserving winner and a true London success story.