Sajid Javid has insisted that “all rules would have been followed” if Boris Johnson and his staff attended parties at Number 10 in the run-up to Christmas last year.
The health secretary did not deny that the parties took place, but he said he was “not aware” of any and he did not attend them.
And he insisted that if any festive gatherings had gone ahead, then “all the rules would have been followed”.
The prime minister is under fire after the Daily Mirror reported that he broke social distancing rules by attending a number of parties with Downing Street staff in the run-up to Christmas.
Johnson is accused of attending a leaving do for an aide last November while the second lockdown was in force.
His staff are then alleged to have held their own festive party in Downing Street just days before Christmas, when London was in tier 3 restrictions and people were banned from mixing with anyone outside of their household bubble.
In response, Downing Street did not deny the claims, but a spokesman told the Mirror: “Covid rules have been followed at all times.”
Asked by LBC whether he believed the prime minister and Downing Street staff had broken the rules, Javid replied: “I didn’t attend, I don’t know who attended these parties, but I don’t even think there were parties that I’m aware of.
“But the point is, whether it’s in Number 10 or any government department, all rules would have been followed at all times.
“I don’t think there’s anything there.”
The health secretary also questioned the accuracy of the report, saying: “Well, first of all, it is the Daily Mirror.”
Ferrari hit back: “I’m sure they have their facts straight, secretary of state.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.