Matt Hancock has been accused of breaking the 10pm curfew by staying in the Commons Bar overtime.
It was also alleged that Mr. Hancock made a joke about the government’s testing and tracing errors.
The Mail on Sunday claims the health minister arrived at the bar before 9:40 p.m. earlier this week and ordered a glass of wine.
Then he announced, “The drinks are with me – but Public Health England is responsible for the method of payment, so I won’t pay anything.” The mirror reports.
His joke came after trying to explain to the Commons why nearly 16,000 positive coronavirus tests were lost.
An unnamed senior Tory MP alleged that Mr. Hancock stayed in the smoking room bar until at least 10:25 p.m.
Pubs and bars in England should close at 10 p.m. according to the government’s blocking rules.
The cabinet minister’s spokesman insisted that the allegations that Mr Hancock had been drinking in a commons bar after 10 p.m. were not true.
In a statement in front of the mirror, a health minister’s spokesman said, “The proposed schedule for events is wrong and no rules have been broken.
“The Foreign Minister was in the smoking room before the vote that evening. The Foreign Minister left the smoking room to vote.
“The vote took place at 9.42 pm. The foreign minister then left the parliament building to go home.”
However, a government source told the PA News Agency that Mr Hancock made the joke as reported.
The spokesman didn’t respond when the Mail on Sunday asked if Mr Hancock had returned to the bar after the vote before going home, the newspaper said.
But Tory MP Vicky Ford said, “Matt Hancock left the room well before 10 p.m. when the vote was scheduled, and was not there after the vote when I came back to pick up my bag (even before 10 p.m.).”
Tory MP Andrew Bowie added, “The vote was before 10pm. People waited for the bell to ring. As soon as it did, everyone went to the vote. End of story.”
It was reported that commons bars did not have to obey the law as they were classified as workplace canteens.
Spokesman Sir Lindsay Hoyle has insisted that the commons bars obey the 10pm rule regardless of the law.
MPs were banned from buying alcohol after 10 p.m. after parliamentary authorities said their bars and restaurants were not exempt from early closing times.
It was expected that places serving alcohol at the Palace of Westminster would be exempt from the new coronavirus rules as they are considered “workplace canteens” according to The Times.
But after an angry backlash, a parliamentary speaker said: “Alcohol is not sold anywhere on the parliamentary grounds after 10 p.m.”
The catering facilities will remain open after this time and serve food to staff who work all night.