Treasury Staff Held a Party During Last Winter’s Lockdown Restrictions, Government Sources Claim

Government sources have unveiled that, last year on November 25th, Treasury staff held a party to celebrate Rishi Sunak’s spending review, even though the Government’s official Covid guidance at the time strongly advised that members of the public must only leave home for exercise or shopping. Although officials say that the event was unplanned and that it “wasn’t a formal party”, attendees had brought alcohol into the Treasury. MailOnline has the story.

Around two dozen civil servants attended the drinks party in the Treasury on November 25th last year.

The party was held despite Covid restrictions which had asked people to stay at home unless exercising or food shopping. 

At the time, non-essential shops, bars and restaurants were closed. 

Sources revealed that Sunak’s officials who had been working on his spending review announcement stayed for a drinks party afterwards. 

Wine and beer were brought into the Treasury but the officials insisted the party had been spontaneous.

A source said: “They’d all been working really hard. They had to be in the office anyway that day.

“It was not a formal party but perhaps in hindsight it was not the most sensible thing to do.” 

Another insider said nobody had questioned the drinks party or thought there was anything wrong with the event.

They described the situation with parties and events coming to light as a “blame game”, according to the Times.  

Sunak was not at the event and it is understood he did not know it was happening.

The latest revelation comes after the Prime Minister’s ex-COP26 Spokeswoman Allegra Stratton resigned this week over a video released by ITV which showed her laughing and joking with other staff about last year’s Downing Street Christmas party on December 18th.

Staff joked about the party as families and friends were separated, many of whom had lost loved ones to Covid.

People had been told to stay at home in their own bubbles for Christmas and to not mix households. 

The video left many people outraged, with some calls for the prime minister to resign.

Despite the footage being released, Johnson has maintained that there was no Downing Street Christmas party.

A spokesman said of the Treasury drinks party: “In line with the guidance at the time, a number of staff came into the office to work on the Spending Review 2020.

“We have been made aware that a small number of those staff had impromptu drinks around their desks after the event.”

An inquiry is set to take place into the three parties which came to light before this latest drinks party was revealed. 

Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, is leading the investigation into last year’s Downing Street Christmas party on December 18th, a leaving event on November 27th and an education department party on December 10th.

He will decide whether to also investigate the drinks party held at the treasury. 

Worth reading in full.

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