PMQs: Boris Johnson apologises for Downing Street party video
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At the time of the party, London was subject to tier 3 restrictions. This tier imposed a ban on social mixing between households. But Westminster has continued to claim all regulations were followed.
Now, the former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party has hit out at the Prime Minister claiming the Government is not “taking the public for fools”.
She tweeted: “None of this is remotely defensible.
“Not having busy, boozy not-parties while others were sticking to the rules, unable to visit ill or dying loved ones.
“Nor flat-out denying things that are easily provable. Not taking the public for fools.”
Ms Davidson went on to say how other Tories are “furious” with the breach in Covid regulations.
She continued: “And today’s ‘we’ll investigate what we’ve spent a week saying didn’t happen and discipline staff for rules we continue to say weren’t broken’ was pathetic.
“As a Tory, I was brought up to believe in playing with a straight bat.
“Believe me, colleagues are furious at this, too.”
Mr Johnson faced a grilling during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday and ordered an investigation into claims Downing Street staff broke lockdown rules.
Mr Johnson said: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures, and I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules because I was also furious to see that clip.
“I apologise unreservedly for the offence that it has caused up and down the country and I apologise for the impression that it gives.
“But I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken, and that is what I have been repeatedly assured.”
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The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has called on Mr Johnson to resign after the news broke.
He said: “This video is damning and leaves the Prime Minister with a lot to answer for.
“When every individual up and down the country was told to stay at home in order to protect the NHS, the Tories were instead having a Christmas party which, as a senior staff member has now confirmed, was ‘not socially distanced’.
“If this is true, then the Prime Minister’s position is untenable and he must remove himself from office immediately.”
Footage of Downing Street was leaked and showed the then-press secretary Allegra Stratton preparing answers about the party.
Ms Stratton, a former BBC and ITV journalist, replied: “I went home.”
After Ms Stratton appeared lost for words, Prime Minister’s adviser Ed Oldfield added: “Would the Prime Minister condone having a Christmas party.”
Laughing Ms Stratton replied: “What’s the answer?”
Another video shows House of Commons leader Jacob Rees Mogg addressing the party saying they will not be investigated by the Met Police in a year’s time.
In a video unearthed by political blog Guido Fawkes, Mr Rees-Mogg told the audience on Monday evening: “I see we’re all here obeying regulations aren’t we?”
He continued: “I mean, this party is not going to be investigated by the police in a year’s time.
“You are all very carefully socially distanced… we have moved, I am pleased to tell you, from the metric back to the Imperial system: I notice you are all at least two inches away from each other which is, as I understand it, what the regulations require.”
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