A SHADOW Cabinet secretary has criticised the Prime Minister after a photo emerged of him appearing to take part in a virtual quiz.

The image, reported by the Sunday Mirror, shows a screen with Boris Johnson sitting in front of a laptop in the Number 10 library in Downing Street while flanked by colleagues.

One of his colleagues is draped in tinsel.

Hove MP and Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland Peter Kyle asked whether anyone did any work in Downing Street last December, "or was it all one big knees-up?"

He said: "In all the paintings and photos of Churchill during the war I don't recall one of him hosting a quiz."

The festive event is said to have taken place only three days before an alleged rule-breaking Christmas party in Number 10, which is currently being investigated by Cabinet secretary Simon Case.

Downing Street said the Conservative Party leader had "briefly" taken part "virtually" in the quiz.

Mr Kyle's comments come as Labour leader Keir Starmer claimed that the Prime Minister "looks as though he was" breaking coronavirus rules when he took part in the quiz with staff.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Starmer said it was "very hard" to see how the virtual quiz was "compliant with the rules".

However, Mr Starmer drew criticism from Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas for stopping short of calling for the Prime Minister's resignation.

On Twitter, she said: "Appreciate Keir Starmer wants to appear statespersonlike, bit pity he won't join others in calling on PM to resign.

"It's never been clearer that Boris Johnson is totally unfit to be PM - a threat to public health and serial liar, destroying democracy and degrading public life."

Official guidance at the time stated: “Although there are exemptions for work purposes, you must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in your tier.”

At the time of the quiz, London was in Tier 2 which said there should be no mixing of households indoors, apart from support bubbles, and maximum of six people outside.

The Sunday Mirror quoted a source who claimed many staff were huddled by computers, conferring on questions and drinking alcohol while the quiz was taking place.

It reported Mr Johnson surprised staff by turning up on screen as quiz master for one round lasting between 10 and 15 minutes.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “This was a virtual quiz.

“Downing Street staff were often required to be in the office to work on the pandemic response so those who were in the office for work may have attended virtually from their desks.

“The Prime Minister briefly took part virtually in a quiz to thank staff for their hard work throughout the year.”

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