Sajid Javid has defended allowing work Christmas parties to continue to take place under Plan B restrictions which include the requirement to work from home.

The health secretary announced the government’s plans for tighter Covid restrictions on Wednesday.

Under the new rules, people are advised to work from home wherever possible, however, the health secretary said work office Christmas parties would still be allowed to take place.

Mr Javid appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning and was asked about the rules.

He said: “I think it is a balanced approach.

“When you look at these measures, whether it is working from home, face masks or Covid passports, I think it is important you look at it in a way to strike a balanced response and I think that is what we have done.”

Asked if there was scientific advice to support the guidance, the health secretary said: “The scientific advice is by taking certain measures it will help slow the spread.

“Someone can understandably argue that if you also stop this or that…. Our job is to understand the consequences of these decisions not just on the pandemic but also on people’s lives.”


Mr Javid also explained why he had backed out of media appearances on Wednesday morning, following the emergence of a video of Number 10 senior aides joking about an alleged lockdown-busting Christmas party.

Asked why no Government minister appeared on Wednesday morning, the Cabinet minister replied: “I didn’t appear because I saw that video – it upset me, it upset a lot of people I think across the country, it upset the Prime Minister.”

Asked whether he “refused” to go onto the airwaves following the emergence of the footage, Mr Javid added: “No, it wasn’t about refusing – I spoke to my colleagues in No 10 and we actually agreed it is best to take some time to respond to the video in the way that the Prime Minister has now, by ordering an investigation by the Cabinet Secretary (Simon Case).

“And so the idea was to give some space to react but I’m pleased the Prime Minister has asked for an investigation, and I can see also why so many people would have been upset by that video.”

Pressed on whether he thought an event did take place last December in Downing Street, he added: “The truth is, I don’t know. I have received assurances, like the Prime Minister has, that all rules were followed throughout the pandemic at all times.”