'A grave insult': Fylde coast MPs condemn 'Christmas party' held at No 10 during lockdown after leaked video

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard has called for 'justice' after leaked video footage showed Downing Street staff cracking jokes about a Christmas party while the rest of London remained in strict lockdown.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 4:44 pm

The leaked video, which dates back to December 22 last year, shows Boris Johnson’s then-spokesman Allegra Stratton making light of a 'cheese and wine' event with 'definitely no social distancing', which took place at No 10 four days earlier.

The Prime Minister initially denied that any rules were broken on December 18 2020, when it is alleged that the Christmas party took place.

But just two days earlier, tier 3 restrictions had been put in place in London, forbidding people from mixing indoors unless they shared a home or support bubble.

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MPs Paul Maynard, Mark Menzies, and Cat Smith commented on the recent scandal

The incident is currently under investigation by the Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case.

Mr Maynard said: “I was both stunned and dumbfounded when I first saw the video with such inappropriate behaviour.

"People up and down the country have had both lives and Christmases disrupted by Covid, and experienced great personal loss, not least around Christmas. To make light of those dark circumstances last December is incomprehensible. It is welcome that the Cabinet Secretary is looking into the matter. But this needs to be swift, and justice certain – not an exercise in prevarication whilst the news cycle moves on. It may also clarify what events were held, when they were held and where, as there is still too much swirling confusion. But after Dominic Cummings’ behaviour, that Downing Street staff considered any of that behaviour acceptable is simply reprehensible.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “I am angered by the video footage which has emerged over the past 24 hours.

“Given the sacrifices people in Fylde made, to protect themselves and others, this seems a grave insult, particularly for those who may have lost loved ones or who were separated from their families.

“It is right the precise facts of what happened should be established and I welcome a full inquiry into these matters.

“If there was an breach of regulations, those responsible should face appropriate action."

Meanwhile, Fleetwood and Lancaster MP Cat Smith said: “The Tory Government had already brought itself into disrepute well before the news broke about the Christmas parties in 10 Downing Street. Giving PPE contacts to their mates, lacklustre track and trace, an NHS battered by over a decade of austerity cuts meant the perfect storm for us seeing one of the highest death rates in the developed world and an economic hit that’s deeper too.”

Blackpool South MP Scott Benton and Wyre MP Ben Wallace did not respond for comment.

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