Former Manchester United footballer and current Sky News sports pundit Gary Neville recently spoke out about a series of lockdown parties. These alleged U.K. government official-thrown events have swamped members of the Conservative Party in scandal for weeks now.
According to allegations, numerous parties – some attended by as many as 100 people – were held at 10 Downing Street, the official residency of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. These parties allegedly occurred during various COVID-19 lockdowns, when household mixing was banned and nightclubs were closed.
Reports state that a wine and cheese garden party, as well as a “bring your own booze” event, were both thrown in May 2020. A going-away party in November 2020 and multiple events in December 2020 also allegedly took place. Over the course of these events, an estimated 660,000 U.K. hospitality jobs were reported lost.
In response to this news, Neville took to Twitter, saying, “10 Downing St should be renamed ”Haçienda.” He references The Haçienda, a storied Manchester nightclub active during the ’80s and ’90s. It is known for helping foster Manchester’s prominent acid house scene. A photobook documenting The Haçienda’s memorable events throughout its run titled Rave One! was recently published.
The scandal comes as the U.K. government currently combats the highly contagious Omicron variant. As of January 17th, U.K. health officials reported a seven-day average of 98,299 new cases.