Pictures Reveal No 10 Staff Joke About ‘Christmas Party’ at Downing St Last Year Amid Strict COVID Rules

Pictures Reveal No 10 Staff Joke About ‘Christmas Party’ at Downing St Last Year Amid Strict COVID Rules

Labor has accused staff at Number 10 of ‘laughing’ at the UK public after images were released showing Downing Street officials joking about a Christmas party during a time of tight COVID restrictions.

In a video recording of what ITV News reported to be a rehearsal for a televised press briefing, No. 10 senior assistants were filmed talking and laughing about a Christmas party.

They also jokingly referred to a “business meeting” and a “cheese and wine” event.

According to the report, the footage is from December 22 of last year – four days after an alleged Christmas party took place at Number 10.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Downing Street have been repeatedly questioned about what was would have been a big party on Friday December 18th of last year.

According to newspaper articles, about “40 or 50” people have crammed “cheek by cheek” in a room at number 10.

Two days earlier, on December 16, London had been placed in level 3 of coronavirus restrictions, making it impossible to mix indoors with people outside your household.

Mr Johnson insisted the COVID rules were followed ‘at all times’ in Issue 10, although the PM once again dodged questions on Tuesday whether a party had taken place or not.

In the footage, a voice believed to be No. 10’s senior adviser, Ed Oldfield, is heard asking what appear to be fictitious questions to Allegra Stratton, the Prime Minister’s former press secretary.

“I just saw information on Twitter that there was a Christmas party in Downing Street on Friday night, do you recognize this information? Mrs. Stratton asks.

“I’m back home,” she replies, before laughing and adding, “Wait, wait, uh. “

Mrs. Stratton is then asked: “Would the Prime Minister agree to throw a Christmas party?”

She laughs again, before asking, “What’s the answer?” To which a voice suggests, “It wasn’t a party, it was cheese and wine.” “

“Are the cheese and the wine okay?” It was a business meeting, ”adds Stratton, to which someone replies,“ No… just kidding. “

Mrs. Stratton with a laugh continues: “This is recorded. This fictional party was a business meeting… and it wasn’t socially distanced. “

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“The guidelines were followed at all times” – PM

The footage was recorded in the £ 2.6million White House-style briefing room in Downing Street, which was built as part of the Prime Minister’s plans to hold daily televised press briefings.

These would have been similar to regular White House televised briefings for US media and followed daily government press conferences on COVID at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

However, number 10 plans for the daily televised briefings were scrapped in April despite former reporter Ms Stratton being hired to present them at a cost of around £ 125,000 per year.

She has since been transferred to the post of Prime Minister’s spokesperson for the COP26 climate change summit.

In response to the leaked images, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer called on Mr Johnson to “be honest and apologize”.

“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 had a right to expect the government to do the same. To lie and laugh at these lies is shameful.

“The Prime Minister must now be frank and apologize. It cannot be one rule for the Conservatives and another for everyone. “

Labor shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “To all those people who followed the rules and made big personal sacrifices:

“The Prime Minister and his advisers are laughing at you. “

The Metropolitan Police said they are currently investigating complaints that Mr Johnson and the staff at Number 10 threw parties in the run-up to last Christmas, in violation of COVID rules.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “There was no Christmas party. COVID rules were followed at all times. ”


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