Police asked to investigate Christmas party No 10 – .

Police asked to investigate Christmas party No 10 – .

Newly elected Conservative MP Louie French delivers acceptance speech

Metropolitan Police have been asked to open an investigation into allegations that more than 50 people attended a Christmas party in Downing Street during last year’s lockdown.

In a letter to Force Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, Labor MP Barry Gardiner said officers “should investigate the case further to establish the facts and see if any laws could have been broken”.

The calls for an inquiry came as Boris Johnson’s party celebrated keeping its secure seat in the closely watched Old Bexley and Sidcup by-elections, despite the tally showing a 10% shift to Labor in a context of low voter turnout in the constituency previously held by former minister James Brokenshire, who died in October of lung cancer at the age of 53.

Ellie Reeves of Labor also claimed that it was a “remarkable result for us in a Tory stronghold” that if it were reproduced in a general election, Keir Starmer’s party would be “within grasp of forming. a majority government ”, while Richard Tice of Reform UK – who came third – said the result showed that he was now the only party“ on the upswing ”.


Hello and welcome to The independentlive coverage of UK politics.

Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 7:44 AM

Tories win Old Bexley and Sidcup byelections

The major political news this morning is the result of the closely watched by-election in the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency of the late James Brokenshire.
The Conservatives kept their seat secure, but with a majority reduced by more than half due to low voter turnout, my colleague Shweta Sharma reports.
Conservative adviser Louie French won 11,189 votes to become the country’s most recent MP, a victory that has been hailed as “almost unheard of” for a government in place by the Conservatives.
The closest challenger was Daniel Francis of Labor, who got 6,711 as the Tory majority was reduced from nearly 19,000 to 4,478, the equivalent of a 10 percent change in the vote for Labor. .
Reform leader Richard Tice came in third, saying his party was now “on the upswing,” while the Greens in fourth and the Liberal Democrats in fifth both lost their deposits.
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 8:01 AM

Louie French says byelection was conducted with “dignity and respect” in victory speech

Louie French used his acceptance speech to pay tribute to his “good friend” James Brokenshire.
“It was a difficult competition, which was held with dignity and respect,” he said.
“My aim now will be to keep the promises I made during the campaign: to get our fair share of the London police, to secure more investment for local schools and hospitals, to protect our precious green spaces. “
Newly elected Conservative MP Louie French delivers acceptance speech
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 8:27 AM

Three parties want to welcome by-election results as positive

Conservatives, Labor and British Reform have all sought to claim the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election as a good result for their party.
Despite the 10 percent shift to Labor, Tory Vice President Justin Tomlinson said the Tories were “absolutely thrilled,” adding: “For a government to get more than 50 percent of the vote in an election partial parliamentary is almost unheard of, and with a majority of over 20 percent.
He added that the result was an “absolute disaster” for the Labor Party, saying: “They do not look like a government on hold.”
But Labor Advocate General Ellie Reeves described it as a “remarkable achievement for us in a Tory stronghold” which, if replicated in a general election, would see Labor “within reach. form a majority government ”, adding:“ I think it is clear that we are regaining the confidence of the people.
And Reform UK’s Richard Tice hailed it as a “massive” result after his party came in third “with almost as many votes as the Lib Dems and Greens combined”. He claimed there were “now only five parties to choose from in British politics and Reform UK is the only one on the upswing.” The Lib Dems had chosen not to target the siege in an informal deal with Labor.
Participation in the contest was only 34%, down from the nearly 70% who voted in the 2019 general election.
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 8:36 AM

Inside Politics: Looming North Shropshire By-Election “One to Watch”

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has more information on the Old Bexley and Sidcup byelections in The independentthis morning’s free daily Inside Politics newsletter.
He reports that attention will soon be focused on the upcoming by-election in North Shropshire, which was announced after Tory MP Owen Paterson resigned amid a squalid row.
With the Conservatives seeming more nervous about this vote, it is certainly one to watch, he suggests.
Meanwhile, in Westminster, Friday’s sitting of Parliament appears to be devoted to private members’ bills, with Labor MP Kevin Brennan presenting proposals to update music streaming legislation.
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 8:43 AM

Margaret Hodge to step down in next general election after 27 years in office

In case you missed it last night, veteran Labor MP Margaret Hodge has announced that she will not be standing in the next general election, calling the decision “difficult” to make.
In a video message, sent to her local Labor Party in Barking, the former cabinet minister said she had ‘enjoyed the job’ but after 27 years she would ‘retire from Parliament’.
My colleague Sam Hancock has details here:
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 8:45 AM

Conservative minister “really not very worried about Labor” after by-election

Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden kicked off the morning media tours with a healthy post-victory dig at Labor, while answering questions about how allegations of sleazy Tories and ‘corruption’ might have had an impact on the outcome of the by-elections.
“This is a good result for a party in power at the mid-term,” Mr. Dowden told Sky News. “As you well know, the parties in power should not expect to do well in their mid-term. In fact, we got over 50 percent of the vote at Bexley. I pay tribute to our excellent candidate and to the campaign team who achieved this result.
“This idea that Labor has taken a leap forward is really for the birds. They actually have about the same share of the vote that they got under Jeremy Corbyn in 2017. Keir Starmer didn’t even bother to run in the by-election, so I’m really not that worried. for Labor.
Asked how the sleazy allegations might have affected the performance of the Tories, Mr Dowden said, “Of course people have mid-term concerns about the performance of any government. And, of course, people got worried about what happened over the past two months.
“In fact, I think it’s a tribute, contrary to many expectations, to the campaign led by Louie French, by the great team there, that we got 50% of the vote. Now what I take away from this is that the government needs to focus and keep delivering. “
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 8:48 AM

Boris Johnson could lose his seat if the by-election vote is repeated nationwide, Labor say

If the 10% shift in favor of Labor in the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-elections were to repeat in Boris Johnson’s constituency in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, the PM could risk losing his seat, Labor sources have said last night.
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 8:53 AM

Government struggles to define ‘race to the top’, report says

Anyone who doesn’t understand what “leveling up” is supposed to mean can find comfort in the fact that it seems Cabinet members still can’t decide, either.
Our main political commentator Jean Rentoul signals an apparent overview of high-level discussions on Boris Johnson’s key policy, gleaned by The temperature, who reports that “on a recent day away from Cabinet, Michael Gove asked everyone to say what the upgrade should and shouldn’t mean in one sentence.”
Chief Treasury Secretary Simon Clarke is said to have said this must involve bringing devolution to more places, only for Jacob Rees-Mogg to respond that leveling shouldn’t mean what Clarke just said.
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 9:07 AM

Boris Johnson “should be worried”, says Labor campaign coordinator

Boris Johnson “should be worried” about the outcome at Old Bexley and Sidcup, the national Labor campaign coordinator said.
Shabana Mahmood said: “The PM should be concerned because, even by by-election standards, a 10.3% shift in favor of the Labor Party in such a strong Tory region, if it happened again in a general election, that would put us inside. a touching distance from a majority Labor government. So I take a lot of heart from this result.
She added: ‘For us it certainly means, these conversations I’ve had, that more and more people are taking a second look at the Labor Party and more and more people are concluding that Keir Starmer would make a better Premier. minister of that country.
“So like I said, I take a lot of courage out of it, they were real blue hearts from the Tories, and a swing of 10.3% is a great result for us. “
Andy GrégoryDecember 3, 2021 9:27 AM


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