FIRST minister Mark Drakeford has denied that any parties were held on Welsh Government premises during lockdown.

The denial comes after UK prime minister Boris Johnson apologised for attending a garden party at Downing Street during lockdown in 2020.

This has prompted widespread outrage and demands for Mr Johnson to resign.

Mr Drakeford, speaking at a press conference this afternoon, said: "We had a very strict working from home rule in our office.

"If there had been such an event, I would have taken a very dim view of it.

"People who make the rules have a special obligation to ensure that they themselves are following the rules.

"That's how we try to conduct ourselves."

He accepted that public trust in politicians over Covid rules has been harmed because of the party, and aimed a thinly-veiled dig at the UK Government.

"When public figures who are part of making rules appear to believe that the rules don't apply to them, of course it damages public confidence," said Mr Drakeford.

"I hope people see the Welsh Government in a different light.

"It's vital they see that we have absolutely not been part of any culture that believes that somehow you are above and beyond the rules that apply to other people."


The prime minister is awaiting a report from senior official Sue Gray who is investigating the incident at Downing Street.

Mr Drakeford said he was "an admirer of (Ms Grey's) abilities", but condemned the fact the person put in charge of the inquiry is not independent of the UK Government.

"I know Sue Gray, I've been an admirer of her abilities when she worked in the Northern Ireland office," said Mr Drakeford.

"But my own view has been from the very beginning that the report into activities in Downing Street should have been given to somebody entirely independent of the UK Government.

"It should have been judge-led, or somebody in that independent position.

"I think Sue Gray has been put in a very challenging and pressurised position."