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A brief history of turbulent prime ministerial Christmases

All too often wars, natural disasters and dramatic resignations have conspired to spoil the day

By Sue Cameron  

Photo: David Cliff/NurPhoto/PA Images

Downing Street—or the “plague pit” as some insiders are calling it—cannot expect much festive cheer this year. The centuries-old building does not lend itself to social distancing—witness how many of those who work there, including the PM, have fallen victim to the pandemic. Parties like those for the No 10 staff and receptions for charities, for political supporters and for the great and the good will not take place as they usually do.

Even in normal times there is a hierarchy about these things. “Receptions are not parties,” a Downing St spokeswoman insists. It sounds like a rum distinction.…

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