Sajid Javid today cancelled all his TV and radio interviews after a video emerged of Boris Johnson’s officials joking about a lockdown-busting Christmas party on December 22nd, 2020 when thousands were unable to visit or say goodbye to loved-ones and millions more obeyed the rules banning social gatherings. MailOnline has more about this burgeoning scandal.
Met Police detectives will consider launching an investigation over the leaked film showing the Prime Minister’s former press secretary Allegra Stratton giggling and laughing as she is asked about the event during a mock media conference.
This morning the Health Secretary pulled out of a round of key broadcast interviews to promote the booster campaign following the emergence of leaked footage showing Government aides joking about a festive gathering last year. BBC Breakfast took the extraordinary step of empty-chairing Mr Javid this morning as vaccines minister Maggie Throup also pulled out of her planned round of regional television interviews.
Downing Street is in crisis over the footage of Miss Stratton filmed last December 22nd – four days after the alleged ‘boozy’ party and when London was under strict Tier 3 coronavirus curbs. The revelation follows a week of tortured denials from No 10 over allegations that dozens of staff exchanged ‘secret Santa’ gifts and drank past midnight at an event said to have party games.
It came as new plans for Britons to work from home and for offices to be closed are being drawn up by the Government to curb a surge in Omicron variant case numbers over the festive period – but Tory MPs admitted the ‘indefensible’ and ‘catastrophic’ video could mean the public will resist or ignore more restrictions because of a lack of ‘moral authority’ in No 10.
Some backbenchers have even suggested that Boris Johnson’s could be forced to resign unless he ‘holds his hands up’ because of the video, which calls into question his insistence that all the rules had been followed at the time.
One said of Mr Johnson’s leadership: “I’m tired of it. He has to go. Clean sweep. It’s unsustainable.” Another said: “It confirms my suspicion of the sheer arrogance and hypocrisy of those orchestrating lockdown measures.”
Worth reading in full.
For lockdown sceptics, this scandal is manna from heaven because it makes it politically more difficult for the Government to impose a Christmas lockdown.