According to the source, the decision is a precaution as it is believed that the lunch will jeopardize the Christmas arrangements of many people if it goes ahead.
The source added that while there was “regret” for the lunch cancellation, there was a belief that it was “the right thing to do” for all involved.
The decision comes after strong warnings from England’s chief medical officer about the spread of the Omicron variant, and he called on people to exercise caution so Christmas can be preserved.
Professor Chris Whitty said people should “prioritize what matters to them” when thinking about attending parties and other events over the Christmas period.
The omicron coronavirus variant is spreading at a rate not seen with previous variants, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
On Monday, the UK reported its first death from the variant, and on Wednesday it reported 78,610 new cases of coronavirus – the largest number of daily cases since the pandemic began.
The previous record for daily new infections was 68,053 on January 8.
This is an evolving story. Check back for more updates.