Asked about reports of a Christmas party in Downing Street, she laughed and replied, “I have come home,” before asking, “What’s the answer?
“Are the cheese and the wine okay?” It was a business meeting, ”we can hear Ms. Stratton say. “This fictional party was a business meeting,” she continued, before laughing and adding, “And it wasn’t socially distanced. “
Opponents have seized the video as further evidence of a familiar and damaging criticism: that the Conservative-led government applies one set of rules to itself and another to the rest of the population. It was deeply damaging at the start of the pandemic when confidence in the government was seriously shaken after Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings drove hundreds of miles to his parents’ home for a lock.
In response to the video, opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer accused the government of misleading the public. “People across the country followed the rules even when it meant being separated from their families, locked up and – tragically for many – unable to say goodbye to loved ones,” he said.
“They were entitled to expect the government to do the same,” he added. “To lie and laugh at these lies is shameful. “
Mr Johnson is due to answer questions on the matter in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.